Johann Zarco has taken his first ever pole position in the Moto2 class after dominating this afternoon’s qualifying session from start to finish. The Frenchman, representing the home-based AirAsia Caterham outfit, comfortably outpaced Mika Kallio while championship leader Esteve Rabat endured a frustrating afternoon.
Zarco’s dominance was such that no other rider held provisional pole at any stage of the 45 minute session. Johann was into the 2:07s range on his second timed lap of the afternoon and his 2:07.094 fifteen minutes from time proved more than quick enough to see off Kallio.
The Frenchman later told the media that his strategic approach to the session paid dividends and is confident that the consistency he has showed throughout the weekend will serve him well tomorrow.
“With new tyres I could push straight away and take the lead. I had a big enough gap that I could stop in the box to breathe, calm myself down and still use our strategy to improve the lap time. It’s exactly what I need and I did a better lap time. I was then waiting and hoping that nobody would improve to catch my pole position time because I couldn’t improve anymore.”
“I’m feeling good. I was consistent with my lap times and often faster than the other riders so if I can stay this way tomorrow, I can hopefully have a good result and fight for the victory. For sure Saturday is important and we are happy but Sunday is the most important day so I want to finish well.”
Kallio was three tenths shy in second but crucially, will have Simone Corsi between himself and championship rival Esteve Rabat on tomorrow’s grid. The Spaniard struggled for pace and appeared visibly frustrated after taking the chequered flag, punching the tank of his Marc VDS Kalex in fury.
Jonas Folger, the pacesetter in morning practice, will start fifth ahead of Thomas Luthi while Sam Lowes will fly the British flag from the third row after qualifying seventh, edging out Maverick Vinales and Sandro Cortese.
British fans will also have had a keen eye on the Brough Superior outfit with Jeremy McWilliams making a one-off return aboard the Taylor Made machine. The 50 year old didn’t enjoy his first qualifying session in seven years, crashing twice and missing out on the required 107% time. The Ulsterman was later seen in the paddock with ice applied to his face and should he be passed fit, he will be allowed to race having set quick enough times during practice.