Zarco makes strong start at Brno


Ajo Motorsport rider ends first day of Czech GP satisfied with fourth fastest time.

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Johann Zarco provided his typical good start to a Grand Prix weekend at Brno on Friday. The Ajo Motorsport rider dominated the first practice session at the Automotodrom Brno, whilst in the second session he worked with used tyres in order to find the ideal pace for the race. In the combined timesheet for the first day of the Czech GP, Zarco placed fourth, just 0.260s off the top spot.

Zarco led the way for the entirety of the first 45 minute session. From the first lap, and despite the high track temperatures of 45ºC, the Frenchman set an unattainable pace for the rest of the grid. In the middle of the session he set his best time of the morning: 2:03.082. Whilst the gap to his time was reduced before the end, it still stood at 3 tenths of a second.

The second session saw the Ajo Motorsport rider going out on track with used tyres, to work on his pace with the race in mind. This did not prevent him from looking for the fastest lap of the first day. Despite not quite managing to do so, in finishing fourth –with a time of 2:02.974–, the Ajo Motorsport rider lowered his lap time from the morning, becoming one of only four men to break into the 2:02 mark.

After the third row he took at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, Johann Zarco will look for a fifth pole position of the season in qualifying from 3:05pm tomorrow.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Tito Rabat (Kalex) 2:02.714
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:02.811 +0.097
3. Simone Corsi (Kalex) 2:02.881 +0.167
4. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 2:02.974 +0.260
5. Sandro Cortese (Kalex) 2:03.033 +0.319

 Johann Zarco,
“We started much better than last week in Indianapolis, as this track is better suited to my way of riding. In the first practice I was surprised at how well the bike was going and it was great news to go fastest so early on. In the afternoon I rode with used tyres and we gathered some very valuable data. Now we will stay calm and keep working hard with the team.

Tomorrow we will have to get more data in free practice, to prepare for the race. In the qualifying session I want to fight to get onto the front row of the grid again and, if possible, fight for pole. It will be important to get a good position on the grid for the race on Sunday.”