Third row for Zarco at Phillip Island17/10/2015
Ajo Motorsport rider takes seventh on the grid for Australian Grand Prix.
On Saturday, the Phillip Island circuit in Australia hosted the battle for the sixteenth pole position of the season. Johann Zarco took seventh place in qualifying, and will start tomorrow’s race from the third row of the grid. The Ajo Motorsport rider managed to improve on his times in both FP3 and qualifying, showing steady progress. Tomorrow Zarco will have the opportunity to equal the record for podiums in the intermediate category -14- in a single season.
In the last free practice session of the weekend, the Frenchman continued the work he had begun yesterday. He was able to lower his best time from Friday and, with a 1:33.488 lap, took fifth on both the FP3 and combined timesheet. A run-off at Turn 9 with 15 minutes left did not prevent him from completing the 40 minute session.
In the qualifying session, the new World Champion found further improvements with the setup of his Kalex. Always inside the Top 10, he continued improving his lap times before setting his definitive 1:33.039 on his penultimate attempt. That time put him in seventh place on the grid, and was quicker than his previous best for the weekend.
Tomorrow’s race will be held from 2:20pm local time -5:20am CET. After victory in Japan, Zarco will look to claim another podium finish. He did so at Phillip Island in 2011 in the 125cc class, with a third position.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (Kalex) 1:32.523
2. Axel Pons (Kalex) 1:32.737 +0.214
3. Sam Lowes (Speed Up) 1:32.787 +0.264
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:32.884 +0.361
5. Mika Kallio (Speed Up) 1:32.957 +0.434
7. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:33.039 +0.516
“I can be happy with the qualifying session, because I was able to complete a lot of laps and it was the session in which I felt most relaxed and had the best pace. This is a positive point for the race and we value it highly. We were still lacking a small step up to fight for pole, but we’ve talked within the team and are confident that tomorrow we will have some new setups to test out. It’s been a weekend from which I’m sure we will take a lot of experience, as we are working very hard to feel comfortable on the bike. We’ll see how the race goes tomorrow, and we will give it everything.”