Zarco takes third pole of 2016 season


Ajo Motorsport riders sets fastest lap of Brno to start Czech GP from the head of the grid.

Just as he did last week at the Red Bull Ring, Johann Zarco will start from pole position this Sunday at the Czech Grand Prix. In a frantic finish to the qualifying session held at Brno, the French rider claimed the top spot on his penultimate lap and further lowered his time thereafter, securing pole position with a 2:01.581 lap.
In the final Free Practice session of the weekend, Zarco focused exclusively on increasing his race pace rather than a single hot lap. The Ajo Motorsport rider lapped alone with used tyres -the first set hard and the second soft. It was with the latter that the Frenchman set his fastest lap of 2:02.546 -three-tenths slower than his best time from Friday- which earned him eighth place.
Zarco began qualifying unable to close in on the top positions, but after a trip to the garage he made an almost immediate rise into the Top 3. When it appeared as if time had run out for the reigning Moto2 World Champion, the red flag was shown with 5 minutes remaining and all of the riders were sent back to the pits. Zarco used the break to push hard in the last stretch, putting in two final laps at pole position pace.
The place was a second pole position of the day for Ajo Motorsport, who also managed to get the fastest rider on the Moto3 grid. Tomorrow’s Moto2 race -the eleventh round of the season- will start at 12:20pm local time. Johann Zarco has only dropped 5 points of the last 125 at stake, and will seek a fifth win from six races.

Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 2:01.581
2. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 2:01.614 +0.033
3. Alex Marquez (Kalex) 2:01.831 +0.250
4. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) 2:02.046 +0.465
5. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 2:02.049 +0.468

5 JOHANN ZARCO “The qualifying session was tough. Despite the good temperatures and us running the soft tyre, the bike was still sliding a lot -although we were able to fix this with the team later. I was also lucky, because when I went out with the set of new tyres I could tell it was going to be difficult to improve my time, and the bike was sliding about again. Then the red flag was shown, and I was able to follow Sam Lowes; using his reference I had a better grip level and was able to take pole. It is fantastic, I’m very happy and also pleased that our pace has been very good for the past two days. I am motivated to have a very good race tomorrow, and am ready to ride intelligently and win if possible.”