When the 2015 Moto2 Championship began in Qatar last month, Ajo Motorsport Kalex pilot Johann Zarco didn’t do too well.
Though he set the fastest lap of the race, the 24-year-old Frenchman had to settle for eighth. He redeemed himself at Circuit of the Americas in Texas for the second round of Moto2, finishing second behind the Brit Sam Lowes (Speed UP)
This placed him only a point behind Lowes as the series headed this past weekend to Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, which joined the GP calendar last season.
Zarco was quick from the beginning in Argentino, and earned the second pole of his Moto2 career. Zarco carried this momentum into Sunday’s Moto2. He took the lead on the third lap, and wasn’t challenged again.
He finished 2.715 seconds ahead of Pagina Amarillas HP 40’s Alex Rins, and 4.161 of a second ahead of Lowes. With his win, he also took over the points lead; he now has 53 points – four ahead of Rins and 12 ahead of Lowes after three of 18 rounds.
“I am very happy, because the goal for today was to win the race and we finally managed to do it. In addition, we are up into the lead of the overall standings, which is an extra prize. We had to work really hard for it,” Zarco says.
“I tried to push hard from the start, because we knew that we had the pace, but it wasn’t at all easy. I was pushing really hard and the gap remained 1.5 or 2 seconds. I wasn’t sure if I’d do it until right at the end. I want to thank the team and all the sponsors for this win. I am very happy and we need to carry on in the same way.”
When Zarco took the lead, Lowes attempted to catch him, running in second place. But with two laps remaining, Rins made a pass, and robbed him of second. Lowes woul dhave to settle for third.
Last year’s Moto2 runner-up, Italtrans Racing Team’s Mika Kallio, finished fourth, ahead of teammate Franco Morbidelli and Derendinger Racing’s Thomas Luthi.
Rounding out the top 10 were Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese, Lorenzo Baldassari (Athina Forward Racing), AGR Team’s Jonas Folger and Petronas Raceline Malaysia’s Hafizh Syahrin.
As for the reigning Moto2 Champion, Marc MDS Racing’s Tito Rabat took the holeshot, and battled with Zarco for the lead. But he ran wide, and was forced to rejoin the grid at the back. He eventually finished 12th.
The series now breaks for two weeks before heading to Jerez for round four.