Positive start for Zarco at Assen


Reigning Moto2 World Champion finishes sixth overall in first free practice sessions in the Netherlands.

Coming into the Dutch TT off the back of two consecutive victories in the Moto2 World Championship, Johann Zarco went sixth fastest overall on Friday. The Frenchman was the third quickest rider in the morning session, improving his times in FP2.

The Ajo Motorsport rider went out for an initial 14-lap stint with the hard tyre in FP1, continually running at the top of the timesheets. On his second outing he improved his best lap time to 1:38.446 –only relinquishing two positions right at the end of the session. He was the rider with the best pace in the opening practice session.

Zarco maintained his positive momentum during the second free practice, and was inside the Top 5 for most of the session. Despite running all kind of tyres –hard, soft, new, used– over the course of FP2, the Frenchman was able to set his best time of the day on the first lap of his final stint. A 1:38.406 lap earned him sixth place.

Tomorrow Zarco will look to qualify on the front row of the grid for the Dutch TT, having won from pole position last time out at the Catalan GP.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:37.962
2. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 1:38.229 +0.267
3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:38.320 +0.358
4. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 1:38.371 +0.409
5. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:38.406 +0.444
6. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:38.407 +0.445

“Today we found positive and negative points. The positive is that I started very well, right from the beginning of FP1, and I also had a fast pace in FP2. The negative is that there are some weak points that we have to keep improving in the coming sessions. I have to discuss what I can do better with my team, using my riding style to feel more comfortable and go a little faster with every lap. All of the times here at Assen are always very similar. Even we didn’t get a good position on the timesheets, our times are not so far off. We have to adapt well to that and try to give our all in order to be in a better spot for the race. Starting from the front row is always useful for a good race, because there is less risk when you are at the front -either setting the pace or following the frontrunners. If you are ahead you can manage the race better and finish more strongly.”