You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Red Bull Grand Prix MotoGP notebook: Rise of the Frenchman

Johann Zarco, a 26-year-old from France, will be a rider to watch this weekend at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

A critical part of the Tech 3 Yamaha team, he’s making a rapid ascent in the sport thanks to back-to-back Moto2 world championships in 2015-16. Moving up to MotoGP this year, Zarco led his first race before crashing. On Thursday at Circuit of the Americas, the rookie was invited for the first time to speak at the official MotoGP pre-race news conference.

“Leading the first six laps in Qatar was good for my confidence,” said Zarco, who has 16 Grand Prix wins to his name. “I didn’t get this kind of publicity in Moto2. I like it.

“I want to keep this high target to just get on the bike, push at the maximum and see where I am. I hope to always be in top positions because I think if I push like this I can set up the bike and set up my mind for the pace.”

Zarco, 11th in the 2017 standings, won 15 races the past two years and is considered the most successful current French rider.

Marriage proposal: During the social-media portion of the news conference, Aspar Ducati rider Álvaro Bautista was hit with a surprise question. The moderator said, “Grace Barroso on Instagram asks, ‘Alvaro, will you marry me?’ ”

Bautista explained that he asked the Spanish model before they left the last race in Argentina if she would tie the knot with him and she said, “Yes.” Barroso was just looking for confirmation.

“So, yes, we will marry,” the 32-year-old Spanish rider said.

Crossing over: The riders were asked about Formula One driver Fernando Alonso’s decision to skip the Monaco Grand Prix to try the Indianapolis 500.

“It was a surprise,” said nine-time Grand Prix champ Valentino Rossi. “It is completely another world, especially when you race on an oval. I went with NASCAR once, and it was very different compared to a normal track like we know.”

Marc Márquez, the reigning MotoGP champ, said, “The decision is hard for me to understand because we’re both part of the Honda family and Monaco is one of the tracks where McLaren can get a good result.”

Any chance Alonso can compete at Indy or even win?

“Difficult, but why not?” Rossi said. “Alonso is one of the best, and I think last year a young driver that was a rookie won at Indy.”

He’s right. Alexander Rossi, no relation, scored one of Indy’s all-time upsets in 2016.

Márquez said, “You must be really lucky, the slipstreams are really strange, but the talent is there, and I think he will be really fast.”

Rossi said he is not interested in making such a switch.

“For me the 8 Hours of Suzuka (MotoGP) is a great race,” he said. “The 24 Hours of Le Mans? The track is too short and 24 hours are too long.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

MLB's first Lithuanian learned the game where few play
MLB's first Lithuanian learned the game where few play

The decades-long journey of a father and a son, of a game and a country, ended with a sprint.  When Dovydas Neverauskas — fresh from the airport and wearing cleats and a glove bummed from his new Pittsburgh Pirates teammates — jogged onto the mound at PNC Park on April 24 to clean up what was left a lopsided loss to the Chicago Cubs...
From combine to draft, NFL prospects treated like pieces of meat
From combine to draft, NFL prospects treated like pieces of meat

It is showtime at the NFL meat market in Philadelphia, as teams begin the business of drafting players and relentlessly flogging their product. The league oversees this phantasmagoria with a blend of Area 51 paranoia and P.T. Barnum hucksterism. And it began a few months earlier at the butcher shop that is the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis,...
A snake tale: Close brush with rattler offers chance to disprove myths
A snake tale: Close brush with rattler offers chance to disprove myths

Bobby Parker is no fan of rattlesnakes — make no mistake about that. He’d rather crawl into bed with a rabid raccoon than take on a rattler on his Camp Verde Ranch. And since turkey season is the time for seeing rattlesnakes in Texas and Camp Verde Ranch is one place the snakes seem to like, Parker is always on the lookout for rattlers...
Leggett: Mexico’s Comedero as good today as yesteryear for bass fishing
Leggett: Mexico’s Comedero as good today as yesteryear for bass fishing

Tall, jagged like a speed freak’s teeth and reaching close to 5,000 feet above sea level, peaks of the Sierra Madre mountain range circle the waters of Lake Comedero, for now keeping cool air trapped down close to the water. Even during the hot part of the midday, it’s still comfortable fishing out here, which some members of our group...
Back-to-back homers by Voit, Kelly fuel Memphis win over Express

Luke Voit and Carson Kelly connected on back-to-back homers in the first inning to help lead the Memphis Redbirds to a 9-1 victory over the Round Rock Express on Friday in Memphis, Tenn. The result evens the series at one game apiece with three left to play. The home runs were both solo shots and gave the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. Memphis added two runs...
More Stories