Tough British GP for Johann Zarco04/09/2016
Ajo Motorsport hit with 30-second penalty, invalidating his sixth position at the British GP.
A weekend in which Johann Zarco had been fast in all conditions ended with scant reward for the Frenchman, as he was unable to place on the podium at Silverstone. Hit with a 30-second penalty after contact with another rider –which itself had meant that he could only cross the line in sixth– the Ajo Motorsport rider was relegated to twenty-second place and left the British GP empty-handed.
Zarco made a good start to the race, contested on a completely dry track under threatening clouds. The Ajo Motorsport man had showed good pace in practice, and carried this into the race by sitting behind the leader. With only three laps remaining, and following a pass by Sam Lowes, the reigning World Champion fought to return the overtaking move –the two colliding and running off track. Despite taking the chequered flag in sixth, the sanction from Race Direction dropped him down the order considerably.
After 12 races, Johann Zarco remains Moto2 World Championship leader with 181 points, 10 ahead of his nearest rival. The next round of the season will take place next weekend, at Misano.
Aki Ajo – Team Manager
“First of all, it should be noted that this weekend has been difficult for the Moto2 class, because the weather has not been favourable. Today we started very well, Johann [Zarco] was strong and having a good race, but unfortunately with a few laps remaining there was a racing incident between Sam Lowes and Johann; unfortunately Sam fell and Johann lost several positions; but this happens in racing and you have to take risks -especially at the end when three riders are fighting to win a race.
Johann was handed a ride through penalty. In this case, in my opinion, the penalty was quite harsh, considering it was just a racing incident which, again in my opinion, was caused by both riders. We have to move on and focus on Misano now, where we will defend the series lead.”
1. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 38:49.473
2. Franco Morbidelli (Kalex) +0.856
3. Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) +1.179
4. Hafizh Syahrin (Kalex) +1.359
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex) +1.970
22. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) +35.232
Moto2 World Championship Standing 2016
1. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) 181 points
2. Alex Rins (Kalex) 171 points
3. Sam Lowes (Kalex) 137 points
4. Thomas Luthi (Kalex) 131 points
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex) 119 points
5 JOHANN ZARCO
“It’s difficult to explain what happened. In the race I set a good pace and I felt good, but not enough to feel that I could take the lead. Three laps from the end, Sam Lowes overtook me. As I didn’t want to lose touch with Luthi, I attempted to get past Sam again. I tried, but the front brake protector broke in our initial contact and the lever lifted up, impeding me from braking hard and meaning I had to go straight on. I lost time because of the incident, although I thought to myself that 6th place and 10 points was damage limitation. In the end, I received a penalty; we must accept it and stay focused so as to not make any mistakes at the next race, as I need to get a win and score more points for the World Championship.”