Zarco take front row start for Malaysian GP

24/10/2015

Ajo Motorsport rider claims second place in qualifying for Malaysian Grand Prix, in a session disrupted by rain halfway through.

Zarco, Moto2, Malaysian MotoGP 2015

Zarco, Moto2, Malaysian MotoGP 2015

The penultimate qualifying session of the 2015 season was disrupted by the onset of rain on Saturday at the Sepang International Circuit. Johann Zarco proved adept at handling the situation and, identifying the threat at the beginning of the session, pushed hard early on to take second position. It is the twelfth front row of the campaign for the Ajo Motorsport rider.

Zarco completed the free practice sessions at the Sepang International Circuit in style. The Ajo Motorsport rider took a definitive step forward to top the timesheets and set a new track record -2:06.881. Despite a small crash in the final seconds, the pace he showed in the session allowed him to face qualifying with more confidence.

The skies were overcast at the beginning of the afternoon run, and the Moto2 riders knew that they had to move quickly.  In the first two minutes of the session, the new World Champion placed second. He improved on his time over two consecutive laps halfway through the session, setting a 2:06.510 that put him 0.127s off pole. With 18 minutes remaining and Zarco looking to move up to first, the rain flags were shown and the battle for pole came to a close.

Tomorrow, in the penultimate race of the year, Johann Zarco will seek to tie the record for podiums in the intermediate category -14. The Moto2 race starts at 1:20pm local time -6:20am CET.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:06.383
2. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 2:06.510 +0.127
3. Alex Rins (Kalex) 2:06.837 +0.454
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 2:07.070 +0.687
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 2:07.199 +0.816

 Johann Zarco,
“I’m a little disappointed, because had it not been for the session ending early, I think I could have taken pole position. On my best lap I made a small mistake that did not allow me to put myself first, but I’m not worried, because second place is very good and above all my pace is very good for the race tomorrow. I am calm, as so far we have done a good job.

I am not thinking about records; I just want to win, because this feeling is fantastic. This weekend I’m very happy, because in Australia it was very difficult and we were always far back. Here we have always been first or second, so tomorrow we want to have fun.”

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