Strategic front row for Zarco at Assen


Frenchman will start Dutch GP from second on the grid after wet qualifying session.

Johann Zarco continues to be in great form in the Moto2 World Championship, pharm and has a chance of a third consecutive victory in 2016 at the Dutch GP on Sunday. He will start the race at Assen from second on the grid –a place on the front row– having made the most of his opportunity at a hot lap on slick tyres in a wet qualifying session.

The final practice session for the Moto2 riders was made more difficult by fine rain that fell midway through. That did not prevent the Frenchman from going back out on track and setting the best lap of the weekend up to that point –a 1:37.427.

A cautious approach was adopted on the opening laps of qualifying, with the riders wary of the rain that had fallen during the MotoGP sessions. The track quickly dried out, and after putting on slick tyres, Zarco pushed hard to set the best possible single lap possible before the return of the rain. His 1:38.402 lap put him second on the grid, as the field was forced back to the pits with 22 minutes remaining.

Adverse weather is also expected for Sunday’s race. However, whether the conditions may be, Johann Zarco will be looking to repeat his 2015 Dutch GP win, and claim his third in a row this season.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 1:37.954
2. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 1:38.402 +0.448
3. Dominique Aegerter (Kalex) 1:38.449 +0.495
4. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 1:38.494 +0.540
5. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) 1:38.544 +.590


“Getting a place on the front row is very important today, as the conditions in qualifying were very difficult. We had the bike ready for a hot lap on a dry track, and suddenly the weather changed. It required a huge effort from all the mechanics, with them having to change tyres and the bike setup. Finally, when we had everything ready, it started raining again. Nevertheless I am happy to be on the front row. This morning I had a good pace. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether it will rain or be dry, but regardless of the weather we must be very focused so as not to make mistakes –and try to win.”