Monsieur Moto2’s road to the title30/10/2016
We review the 17 races that have allowed the Ajo Motorsport rider to be crowned Moto2 World Champion for the second consecutive year.
6 wins and a further 3 podium in 17 races have earned Johann Zarco a second Moto2 World Championship title. The Frenchman has continued to make history with the Ajo Motorsport team in the class. From his first win at Argentina and run of four wins in five races, tadalafil to clinching the title in Malaysia with a win, healing there are some of the most memorable moments of the season for Zarco.
1. QATAR GRAND PRIX (12th)
The reigning World Champion began his title defence at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Zarco, recipe who started from the front row, lost all chance of a podium finish after being penalised for jumping the start and incurring a ride through penalty. Nevertheless, the Ajo Motorsport rider was able to finish in twelfth place and take his first 4 points of the season.
2. ARGENTINA GRAND PRIX (1st)
The Ajo Motorsport rider, who started from second position on the grid, adapted best to the harsh weather conditions that accompanied the race in Argentina. From the start of the race, Zarco was part of the front group alongside 3 other riders, who accompanied him until the last three laps. At that moment, the Frenchman was able to leave his pursuers behind and cross the finish line in first position. A second consecutive podium for the Ajo Motorsport rider followed at Austin. Johann Zarco, who took off from second position at the Circuit of the Americas, joined four other riders in the group fighting for third place. With five laps remaining, the French rider outpaced his rivals to complete the podium and take valuable points, putting him just 2 behind the series leader.
4. SPANISH GRAND PRIX (5th)
After a difficult weekend at the fourth race of the season, in which Zarco started from fifteenth on the grid, the Frenchman managed to climb ten places to finish a creditable fifth at Jerez.
5. FRENCH GRAND PRIX (24th)
The World Championship moved on to Le Mans, the home race for Johann Zarco. The Ajo Motorsport rider unfortunately suffered a crash on Lap 17, however, and finished in a lowly twenty-fourth position, taking his first 0 of the season.
6. ITALIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
Mugello hosted a second win of the season for Zarco. After starting from the second row of the grid in a chaotic race which featured a red flag, he was able to take the win after fighting with other riders for first place. With this victory, the Frenchman placed fourth overall with 81 points.
7. CATALAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
On a weekend marked by the tragic loss of Moto2 rider Luis Salom. Johann Zarco was determined to dedicate a pole position and second consecutive victory to his late friend. Despite having a difficult start and being relegated to third position, the Frenchman was able to recover and moved into second after just two laps. From this moment, the Ajo Motorsport rider bided his time and with seven laps remaining was the race leader, a position he never relinquished.
8. DUTCH TT (2nd)
Assen saw a third consecutive podium for the Ajo Motorsport rider. He started from second on the grid, lost many positions at the start and was down in eighth on Lap 2. Despite this, Zarco was able to recover seven positions and finish in a fantastic second position, a result that gave him the lead in the standings for the first time this season.
9. GERMAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
A fourth consecutive podium went Johann Zarco’s way with victory at the German Grand Prix. This, coupled with a crash for rivals chasing him in the overall standings, made him outright leader with a 25-point advantage over Alex Rins. The race started under adverse conditions, which caused a loss of positions for the Ajo Motorsport rider. Despite dropping to sixth place, he fought back to take a fourth win of the year.
10. AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
After the three-week summer break, Johann Zarco picked back up from where he left off, taking another victory at a new circuit on the calendar: The Red Bull Ring. Fifth on the first few laps after starting from pole position, Zarco moved up the field to lead the race when there were 9 laps remaining, holding the position until the chequered flag. After this victory, the Ajo Motorsport rider increased the gap over the rider in second place in the fight for the World Championship to 34 points.
11. CZECH REPUBLIC GRAND PRIX (11th)
The weekend at Brno was a tough one for Johann Zarco. After practice sessions in which the Ajo Motorsport rider showed he had the pace to win, everything changed on race day. Rain significantly hindered the French rider who, despite getting a third pole position of the season, lost sixteen places on the opening five laps. He would take five valuable points for the championship that weekend, allowing him to stay Moto2 leader with a 19 point lead.
12. BRITISH GRAND PRIX (22nd)
Another tough Sunday followed at Silverstone. With three laps remaining and in the leading group, a crash with another rider ended Zarco’s hopes of a podium. Race Direction hit him with a 30-second penalty that relegated him to twenty-second position, despite crossing the finish line in sixth place.
13. SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX (4th)
The following weekend, the Frenchman came fourth at Misano. He had started from seventh place, took 13 valuable points and remained on top of the Moto2 World Championship classification. After riding in a group of six riders, he crossed the finish line in a creditable fourth place.
14. ARAGON GRAND PRIX (8th)
Johann Zarco, who took off from fifth position, was relegated to tenth after a tricky start output. The Frenchman rode alongside a group of four riders for much of the race until, with 10 laps remaining, he managed to recover two positions and finished in eighth. The Ajo Motorsport rider went into the flyaway rounds as overall leader by 1 point.
15. JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (2nd)
The run of three consecutive races began with an important podium for Johann Zarco –his eighth of the season. The French rider, who on the early laps rode patiently, knowing there was a lot at stake, decided to push for the podium with 11 laps remaining. He claimed a brilliant second position and a valuable 20 points, giving him a cushion of 21 over second placed Alex Rins.
16. AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (12th)
At a Phillip Island circuit that had been difficult for him in the past, Zarco rode a cautious race. After a fall for Alex Rins, he preferred not to take risks and crossed the finish line in twelfth position, extending his lead to 22 points over new second-placed rider, Thomas Luthi.
17. MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
Johann Zarco had his first chance to clinch the title at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, and did not want it to go to waste. A win crowned him Moto2 World Champion for the second consecutive year, becoming the first man to defend the title and doing so with one race to spare.