Record-setting start for Johann Zarco in Argentina


Ajo Motorsport rider claims the fastest Moto2 lap ever set at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and leads the first day of the third GP of the year.


Today saw the start of the Grand Prix of Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, with Johann Zarco marking the occasion with the fastest lap ever set with a Moto2 bike. His 1:43.239 time allowed the Ajo Motorsport rider to lead the combined timesheet on Friday.

Unlike at the first two races of the year, Johann Zarco was not amongst the two fastest riders at the end of the first free practice session. Using his experience from last year to dictate his workload, the Ajo Motorsport rider dedicated his initial 45 minute run to work on suspension and tyre wear. The Frenchman came into the pits just once, completing a total of 21 laps and ending the session sixth fastest –with a time of 1:44.395.

Zarco changed strategy in the afternoon, in which he was very consistent and very fast. With more grip present on the track, he dominated the session from start to finish with an unmatchable pace. The Ajo Motorsport rider racked up some 11 laps in the 1:43’s, riding alone, and only interrupted this run with a trip back to the garage. His best lap –a 1:43.239 that was also the fastest ever set in Moto2 at the track– was taken on his penultimate attempt.

With a good feeling about things after an excellent opening day, tomorrow Johann Zarco will chase a place on the front row of the grid in the qualifying session. The Saturday shootout will be held from 3:05pm local time.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:43.239
2. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) 1:43.306 +0.067
3. Mika Kallio (Kalex) 1:43.426 +0.187
4. Tito Rabat (Kalex) 1:43.431 +0.192
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:43.598 +0.359

Johann Zarco,
“It has been a really good first day. I’m happy to have been fastest –and with the lap we set. We had two good sessions to start the weekend. We also went well in the morning, when we worked with used tyres. I think we were quick with different tyres, and that’s something I’m satisfied with. The team are working very well, the bike is giving me a good feeling and I feel very well supported. I feel that I can go fast, and that I just need to improve some small aspects of my riding. The next goal is to be even more consistent for the race.”