Third row start for Zarco at Jerez


Ajo Motorsport rider, ninth in qualifying, suffers small crash in grid-deciding session.

The second day of the Spanish GP decided the Moto2 grid for the fourth race of the year. Johann Zarco will start from ninth position, on the third row, after a difficult qualifying session which included a small crash. The Ajo Motorsport rider hopes that the pace he showed in the final free practice session will allow him to fight for the top positions in the race.

The third and final free practice session left the Frenchman with a good feeling. Going out on track with used tyres, Zarco faced the morning session with calm, thinking about the race and working with the rear suspension of his bike. In the final stretch of the session and with new tyres, the Ajo Motorsport rider lowered his lap times to finish the morning at the head of the timesheet. With a best lap of 1:42.875, he was the only rider to manage to lap in under 1:43, very close to the circuit record.

With temperatures on track increasingly high, Zarco remained in the Top 10 in qualifying throughout the session. He suffered an untimely crash at Turn 2 with 18 minutes remaining in the session. Zarco rejoined the track to try to improve on the seventh position he has occupied at the time of the fall, but despite his efforts he ended up ninth place -with a best time of 1:43.436.

Tomorrow’s race will be held at 12:20pm (local time), and the Frenchman expects a lower track temperature that allows him to show the pace achieved this morning.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Tito Rabat (Kalex) 1:42.874
2. Alex Rins (Kalex) 1:43.179 +0.305
3. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 1:43.201 +0.327
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:43.259 +0.385
5. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:43.278 +0.404
9. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:43.436 +0.562

Johann Zarco,
“From the start of the weekend it has been difficult for me, not because of the weather but because of my feeling with the bike. I cannot go fast and it’s a difficult situation. For qualifying I used the strategy of going as fast as possible, but it was probably the wrong strategy. The grid position is not a big problem for us, but it is a shame not to start from the front row for the race because it makes it harder. I still think I can reach the leading group and keep with them, because when I finished qualifying my feeling with the bike had improved and I enjoyed myself on the bike. I think that is important for the race. Tomorrow’s race will be held earlier, so at midday the track will be cooler than at three in the afternoon. It may be an opportunity for me to have a better feeling. I’m not very pleased but that’s the game, everyone wants to be up at the front and sometimes things do not go as you want.”