Johann Zarco the Friday standout at home Grand Prix


Ajo Motorsport rider begins French Grand Prix in the best possible way, going fastest on the opening day of practice at Le Mans.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion, Johann Zarco, made a fantastic start to his home Grand Prix. The Frenchman quickly got up to speed at the historic Le Mans circuit, maintaining a high pace and gradually improving his top lap times during the first day of practice. The Ajo Motorsport rider ended Friday with the fastest time in the intermediate category: 1:37.370.

The first session for the home hero was more positive than the timesheets suggested. Although he placed sixth in FP1, Zarco made just one stop in the pits during the session, starting the Grand Prix weekend with a 14-lap stint. Always up amongst the fastest riders, he made no tyre changes but was still able to set his best time of 1:38.223 on his last lap.

Confirming his strong pace and good feeling, the reigning Moto2 World Champion used the same strategy of a long opening stint in FP2. Following another 14-lap uninterrupted run, he used a further 8 laps to break into the 1:37s mark and jump to the top of the timesheets. Zarco would beat his own fastest lap twice in a row to finally set the quickest time of the day, putting in a 1:37.370.

In the qualifying session for the French Grand Prix, which takes place tomorrow at 3:05pm, the Ajo Motorsport rider will look to take pole position for his home round. His previous best grid position at the event is third place, achieved in 2013 and 2015 in Moto2.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:37.370
2. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:37.435 +0.065
3. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 1:37.557 +0.187
4. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:37.858 +0.488
5. Simone Corsi (Speed Up) 1:37.903 +0.533


“I’m pretty happy after today and this is good for my confidence. I felt in good shape for this weekend and I was able to confirm that this was the case today. We must stay focused and keep pushing to prepare for the qualifying session tomorrow, because we want pole position and to be the best in the race -when the points are awarded. Today’s result is good because it means we have a good bike. Also, I have a good feeling, but we must continue working to prepare for the race. Every year we go faster and this is normal, because the tyres are better and the bike has improved. The new Kalex has the potential to go very fast and no rider is switching off, so you have to push your hardest.”