Johann Zarco says he was left “very scared” after almost losing the front of his Ducati on the final lap of the German Grand Prix after getting distracted.

The Pramac racer looked to have a third-consecutive rostrum result under wraps as he controlled the gap to VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi across the closing stages of the Sachsenring encounter having recovered from dropping to seventh in the opening stanza, though the Frenchman came moments from disaster at the start of the final tour.

Zarco briefly lost the front of his Desmosedici in entry to Turn 1 after conceding he got distracted by thinking he saw one of the two leading riders crashing ahead of him, his quick lack of focus causing him to nearly crash himself and run wide and get his tyres dirty – a phenomenon that nearly caught him out again at Turn 3.

“I did a little mistake on the last lap, but I had enough of a gap to bring home the podium,” began Zarco.

“I wanted to keep the gap with him (Bezzecchi) and the gap was done, but then when I braked I saw something moving at the first corner and I thought maybe the top two guys were fighting together and one had crashed.

“But in the moment I was thinking about that I almost crashed myself, I got very scared because I could save it but I went quite wide and at Turn 3 I had another slide because the tyres on the right side were dirty.

“My last lap was 1:23.4 which was almost two seconds slower than the top guys, so I was lucky to hold on.”

Describing his journey from rising from his sluggish start, Zarco says he felt “confident” in the grip of his Ducati from the outset of the contest and elected to try and follow a fast-starting Aleix Espargaro back through to the top five – the Aprilia man having chosen the softer-compound rear tyre to enjoy more grip in the early goings.

“I could see that my pace could be immediately strong and could use good grip from the rear tyre, I was strong on the brakes but could not find the space to overtake and Aleix (Espargaro) arrived with the soft rear tyre and tried to use the potential of it, so when he passed the other riders I immediately tried to go through too,” continued Zarco.

“After the first lap I could use this good pace and try to fight as well as possible, (Luca) Marini and (Brad) Binder were going quite fast so I had to put in some effort to stay with them.

“Marini then dropped with the rear tyre so then I followed Brad thinking I could control my rear tyre but at the end he made a mistake at Turn 8 so I was alone in third.”

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