Johann Zarco takes podium and Moto2 series lead at Assen26/06/2016
Ajo Motorsport rider claims second place in a race shortened by rain.
Johann Zarco took a deserved podium finish at the first Dutch GP to be held on a Sunday. In a difficult race, in which the reigning Moto2 World Champion climbed from eighth to second place, the Frenchman extended his run of rostrums to three and moved into the lead of the overall standings. The race was called to an early end with two laps remaining, due to rain.
The Ajo Motorsport rider did not make a good start, losing positions on the early laps and dropping down to eighth place by Lap 3. As he upped his pace, he began to regain places. Once he had made it up into second position, and despite being 4 seconds behind the race leader, Zarco was gaining ground when the rain began; he was 1.5 seconds behind when the red flag was shown.
Zarco leads the Moto2 standings with 126 points, tied with Alex Rins and 5 points ahead of the rider in third place. The next race takes place in 3 weeks in Germany, on July 17th.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“I am very happy with the consistency Johann [Zarco] has been showing in recent races, and how he has regained his best feeling with the bike. The beginning of the year has not been easy, but it’s getting better and better and now he leads the way in the World Championship. Today’s race was run in tricky conditions, and Johann also had to fight with other riders. Second position is a very good result and we must congratulate the whole team. Nakagami also deserves congratulations, for getting a victory after many years without a Japanese race winner.”
Race – Results
1. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 34:33.948
2. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) +2.435
3. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) +5.670
4. Sam Lowes (Kalex) +7.069
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Kalex) +7.883
Moto2 World Championship Standing
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 126 points
2. Alex Rins (Kalex) 126 points
3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 121 points
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 93 points
5. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 78 points
5 JOHANN ZARCO
“It was a very good weekend, with us finishing second and leading the World Championship. The race was very difficult because there was a large battle between many riders. I fought hard and felt I was able to get in front and set my pace, but sometimes made a mistake and lost positions again. I saw Nakagami had taken the lead and I thought it was possible to catch him. When I was up into second he was setting a very good pace, so I tried to give my best and thought that reaching him was possible until the end -even with the rain. I think stopping the race was a good decision, because at the end the track was very slippery and it was risky. I’m happy for Takaaki, he deserved it.
Overall, the weekend has been very good, I am very happy with how it went and I want to thank the whole team, because I feel very good on the bike and that is key to being up at the front.”