Johann Zarco returns to winning ways at Mugello


Ajo Motorsport rider takes second victory of the season in a chaotic race, restarted due to a red flag.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco kept the coolest head at a chaotic Italian Grand Prix, overcoming the confusion of a race interrupted by a red flag to prevail in a fight that went down to the last lap. It was his second victory of the season, and his first at Mugello.

On the initial start, the Ajo Motorsport rider had struggled, ridding ninth at the end of the fourth lap. It was then that Race Direction ordered the race to be red flagged to repair an air-fence, damaged in a crash for another rider. In a 10-lap sprint from the restart, Zarco took a step up and rode amongst the frontrunners. He was part of the battle for first place, and made a pass on the final lap for his second win of 2016.

With this result, Johann Zarco lies fourth in the Moto2 World Championship with 81 points. On Monday he will remain at Mugello for a one-day test.

Results (Race)
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 18:59.391
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +0.030
3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) +1.096
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) +1.215
5. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) +1.653

Moto2 World Championship Standing 2016
1. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 98 points
2. Alex Rins (Kalex) 96 points
3. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 82 points
4. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 81 points
5. Dominique Aergerter (Kalex) 52 points

Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“Today was a bit special of a day after the red flag, but in the end it was even a little fun. The important thing is that both the team and the rider maintained their concentration, despite everything that happened. I’m happy about how the team and Johann [Zarco] behaved amidst such confusion. From Friday Johann has shown that he is strong here; yesterday was not an easy day, but in today’s warmup we saw that we were going in the right direction. That meant his confidence returned for the race, where he again showed how strong he can be. I want to send the Ajo Motorsport Team’s best wishes to Massimo [Branchini], our chief mechanic, who despite having to watch this race from his home this weekend, has been indispensable with his help. Thanks to all the team.”

“It’s been a good weekend. Despite starting from sixth, the team and I had a good feeling –we were just concerned as everyone in this class is fast. We worked on my adaptation to the bike throughout the weekend, pushing to see how I can get the most out of it, step by step. The first start was good, although I had some problems with the rear tyre and was sliding around. I saw that I could get up to the front and fight for the podium when the red flag came out. I had the good fortune that three very good riders started from far back, and I took advantage of the fact that there were only 10 laps to push. The fight with Baldassarri was incredible and he rode very well. I was aggressive and I wanted to keep my position on the last corners, because I knew I could win if I got onto the straight first. These 25 points are just what I needed to get back into the fight for the championship.”