Johann Zarco starts Austin weekend in the Top 3


Reigning Moto2 World Champion sets third fastest time on combined timesheets for first day of Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.

The Circuit of the Americas is one of the most complex circuits on the calendar -it is the track with the most corners and also the longest straight- but Johann Zarco quickly got on the pace in Austin. On Friday the Ajo Motorsport rider was one of the three fastest participants, placing third in both Free Practice sessions and riding below the previous lap record for the track.

The intermediate category times were fast from the get-go in FP1, just thousandths of a second off the circuit record. Johann Zarco dominated the first half of the run, setting his best lap time of 2:10.590 on his first stint. In the end, the Ajo Motorsport rider placed third.

In the afternoon, Zarco took little time to lower his previous best lap. With 15 minutes to go, he became the first rider to go round in the 2:09s, and his second such lap -2:09.760- earned him third place, just 0.196s off the top spot. The Ajo Motorsport rider remained in the Top 3, and was the only one of the top trio to make only one stop in the pits.

Qualifying for the Red Bull GP of the Americas takes place on Saturday from 3:05pm local time, and Zarco will be looking to take a first pole position of the year that narrowly eluded him in Argentina.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Alex Rins (Kalex) 2:09.564
2. Simone Corsi (Speed Up) 2:09.744 +0.180
3. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 2:09.760 +0.196
4. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 2:09.890 +0.326
5. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 2:10.372 +0.808


“The first day in Texas went well; I was faster than I was here last year, but so was the top rider on the timesheets today, which was interesting. This morning I was very consistent with the hard tyre and felt good with it. In the afternoon we ran the soft tyre and I improved my lap time, which is important. Later on I lacked a little consistency, but it’s good to have this type of problem now so that we can work on it, watching videos and seeing how my rivals do. I am fairly fast, but we need to be more consistent in order to do well in the race. It was a good day overall, with good conditions, and I thank the team because everything is going great.”