Johann Zarco finds his feet on a tricky day in Australia


Ajo Motorsport rider finishes first day at Phillip Island in ninth place, amidst mixed track conditions.

Zarco, Australian Moto2 2015

Zarco, Australian Moto2 2015

Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco was back onboard his Kalex on Friday to begin the Australian Grand Prix. Intermittent rain between sessions hindered the riders’ work, as at various moments of the first session they had to return to the pits. Nevertheless, the Ajo Motorsport rider was able to improve his feelings in the afternoon and set the ninth best lap on the combined timesheets.

Light rainfall at the end of MotoGP FP1 forced the Moto2 riders to be cautious when they went out on track. So cautious, in fact, that Johann Zarco returned to the pits without completing a single lap. Minutes later and with the track already dry, the Frenchman went back out –only to have to stop again with 15 minutes remaining when the rain flag was shown. That prevented the Ajo Motorsport rider from picking up the pace, and he clocked the seventh fastest time of 1:34.510.

In the afternoon the track conditions improved, and this time Zarco had the full 40 minutes at his disposal. The Frenchman remained in the background, always in the Top 10 but not appearing at the head of the timesheets. At a totally different circuit to Motegi, the Ajo Motorsport rider had to find a new setup, improving over the course of his time on track. His best lap was a 1:33.590, which put him in ninth place.

In the qualifying session tomorrow, the new World Champion will look to take his first Moto2 pole at Phillip Island, after having done so already in 125cc in 2011. The session takes place from 4:05pm local time, 7:05am CET.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (Kalex) 1:33.106
2. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) 1:33.152 +0.046
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:33.305 +0.199
4. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:33.371 +0.265
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 1:33.418 +0.312
9. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:33.590 +0.484

 Johann Zarco,
“I’m very happy to be back in Australia. It’s a very interesting circuit -different from the others. It is true that in previous years I did not find it easy to be quick and consistent at this track, so we have work to do. On this first day I was not able to go fastest, but we’re working on it. From the first to the second session we took a step forward that allowed us to go faster, but other riders were still quicker. I have to keep calm because here the conditions change so much. I enjoy this circuit; it is special, very fast, and not easy. I have to enjoy myself on the bike.”