For the third time of the 2015 Moto2 Championship, Johann Zarco earned the pole position. The Frenchman’s latest arrived at the TT Circuit Assen – and in record-breaking style.Under ideal conditions during 2015 Assen Moto2 qualifying, Zarco – the current points leader – smashed the previous Moto2 pole record of 1:37.133 set by Marc Marquez in 2012 by almost 0.8 of a second. The AJO Motorsports Kalex pilot earned the pole with a 1:36.346 arond the 2.82-mile Assen TT circuit containing 18 corners. This was also Zarco’s fourth pole of his Moto2 career.
Joining Zarco on the front row are the reigning Moto2 Champion, Marc VDS Racing’s Tito Rabat, and Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes. And just like Valentino Rossi’s record pole performance in Assen MotoGP qualifying, nobody was even close to Rabat. He finished 2015 Assen Moto2 qualifying 0.287 of a second ahead of the Rabat, and 0.532 of a second ahead of Lowes. The Brit Lowes was also the final rider to post within a second of Zarco.Though he crashed earlier in qualifying Athina Forward Racing’s Simone Corsi qualified on top of the second row. Corsi was 1.047 seconds slower than Zarco. Joining Corsi on row two are AGR Team Kalex’s Jonas Folger (-1.088s) and Federal Oil Gresini Racing Moto2’s Xavier Simeon (-1.163s).Rounding out the top 10 in qualifying were Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP40), Thomas Luthi (Derendinger Racing Interwetten), Lorenzo Baldassarri (Athina Forward Racing) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia).As for crashes, EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Alex Marquez (13th) wrecked at the Haarbocth first turn and Ratthapark Wilairot (27th) at the Geert Timmer chicane. Both riders escaped unhurt.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.