Second row for Johann Zarco at Italian GP


Ajo Motorsport will take off from sixth at Mugello, qualifying just two tenths off pole position.

Reigning Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco will start the Italian Grand Prix from the second row of the grid tomorrow, after achieving the sixth best time in a very close qualifying session. On a day in which the first 15 riders were within half a second of each other, the Frenchman lowered his fastest time from yesterday by more than 7 tenths and reaffirmed himself as one of the podium candidates.

The final Free Practice session of the weekend allowed Johann Zarco to continue working on the setup of his Kalex with an eye on the race. After first two stints looking for the pace required for tomorrow, he completed a single hot lap which saw him climb to second place and set his best time so far -1:52.441-, over half a second faster than yesterday.

In the qualifying session, all of the Moto2 riders took an important step forward. After matching his morning time twice, Zarco used a final set of new tyres for his last attempt at pole. He improved his time for three consecutive laps, and his penultimate lap of 1:52.198 gave him sixth place on the grid.

The sixth Moto2 race of the year will be held tomorrow at 12:20pm. Johann Zarco will try to get on the podium at a track where he has been on the rostrum three times already. Still to claim a victory at the Italian circuit, he will attempt just that this Sunday.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:51.965
2. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:52.012 +0.047
3. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) 1:52.088 +0.123
4. Axel Pons (Kalex) 1:52.091 +0.126
5. Marcel Schrotter (Kalex) 1:52.134 +0.169
6. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:52.198 +0.233

“I’m happy because I improved my best time in qualifying and we all had very similar best laps. Qualifying was difficult; I pushed all the time but at first I did not know how to improve. I found out how to do so later on, and with the second new tyre I was able to take a step forward and set my fastest time. Tonight I need to rest, as I want to be strong tomorrow when it will be important to start well. I will try to be smart and not waste time early on, it will be a very important moment for the race.”