Zarco score points in penalty-filled Moto2 opener


Ajo Motorsport rider finishes Grand Prix of Qatar twelfth, after being penalised with a ride-through penalty for jumping the start.

Zarco, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2016

Zarco, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2016

The first Moto2 race of the year took place on Sunday at the Losail International Circuit, and it will be remembered for being a contest in which nine riders were penalised for jump starts. One of them was reigning World Champion, Johann Zarco, who lost all chance of a podium after serving a ride-through penalty. Nevertheless, the Ajo Motorsport rider did not throw in the towel and worked hard to make up places, finishing twelfth and scoring his first 4 points of the year.

The start of the Moto2 Grand Prix of Qatar was more decisive than ever, as a large group took off too early. Johann Zarco, who had started from the second row, was amongst the riders forced to go through pitlane on the second lap as punishment for jumping the start. This placed him at the back of the field, but the Ajo Motorsport rider was determined to make up as many positions as possible and set a pace worthy of the podium, climbing to twelfth place. With this result, the Frenchman claims 4 points for the overall standings.

Johann Zarco will have a chance to avenge his disappointment from Qatar and try to get back onto the podium in two weeks, when the series moves on to Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

Results – Race
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 40:14.293
2. Luis Salom (Kalex) +9.610
3. Simone Corsi (Speed Up) +9.665
4. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) +13.558
5. Dominique Aegerter (Kalex) +16.064
12. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) +24.570

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2016
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 25 points
2. Luis Salom (Kalex) 20 points
3. Simone Corsi (Speed Up) 16 points
4. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) 13 points
5. Dominique Aegerter (Kalex) 11 points
12. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 4 points

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“I don’t know what to say about today’s race, because everything changed with the numerous ‘jump starts’. It is very difficult for Race Direction to decide who had to be penalised and who didn’t, and rarely in my life have I seen so many riders make a jump start. I’m sure that they will check the system for the lights, because many riders got nervous and could not get off the line well. We have to accept things. In the end we have not lost so much, so we should look ahead. I am very pleased that Johann [Zarco] found his speed and pace during the race, especially on the last few laps when he was really fast. We can’t wait for the next race.”


“It was a bit of a crazy race. I made a mistake with a jump start, and my penalty was a ride through that put me almost in last place. After a few laps I saw very fast riders such as Rins and Lowes had also been punished, and then Folger crashed, so we have not lost so much in respect to them. As for my pace, it was pretty good but not the best. It is something we still have to work on. I apologise to the team, because it was strange for me to make the mistake with the jump start -the first of my career and hopefully the last. I am very focused on doing everything even better in Argentina; the bike is very fast and consistent, and I understand it well.”