Johann Zarco returns to Top 3


Ajo Motorsport rider completes first day of Malaysian Grand Prix in third position, illness after setting the second fastest time in both practice sessions

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On day one in Sepang, new Moto2 World Champion, Johann Zarco, again showed the level to which spectators have become accustomed from him in 2015. The Ajo Motorsport rider had great pace and was second fastest in each of the two free practice sessions held today. His lap of 2:07.738 in the afternoon earned him third place on the combined timesheets.

Johann Zarco knew that Phillip Island was just a blip in an excellent season, and in Malaysia he only needed 10 minutes to move up to the head of the timesheets. Setting a great pace, the Frenchman was the fastest in adapting to the demanding conditions of high temperatures and humidity at Sepang. Despite losing first position in the session with 30 seconds remaining, the Ajo Motorsport rider’s 2:07.768 lap made him one of only two riders to go round in under 2:08.

With higher track temperatures of 44°C, Zarco went out for the second session willing to continue working on his pace for the race on Sunday. He was one of the riders to put in the most laps, with 17 in the afternoon. He set his best time -2:07.738- midway through the session, going 0.030s quicker than in the morning and placing second once again.

Tomorrow, Zarco will challenge for his eighth pole position of the season, although the first target will be to qualify on the front row after he missed out in Australia. Qualifying will start at 3:05pm local time -9:05am in Europe (CET).

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:07.453
2. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 2:07.720 +0.267
3. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 2:07.738 +0.285
4. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) 2:07.870 +0.417
5. Alex Rins (Kalex) 2:07.948 +0.495

Johann Zarco,
“I am very happy with the first day. From the first session I had a good pace and I was first for much of the session. I felt comfortable on the bike. After a tough weekend in Australia, I feel good about having started this Grand Prix well. In the afternoon we continued to have a good pace and we tried different setups and several tyres. We have lots of information and are fast in different conditions. Now I have to physically prepare myself to be fit for qualifying and for Sunday, to be prepared to fight for victory.”