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MotoGP Sepang: Zarco blasts to Moto2 pole by more than two seconds

Johann Zarco put one hand back on the championship as he powered to Moto2 pole in Sepang more two seconds ahead of Franco Morbidelli in second.

The championship leader blew the rest away as he came into his own at the close of the session, shaving a second off his previous best lap in the penultimate lap and then anther second on his final attempt.

Today’s qualifying was late getting started following  a stoppage due to a downpour earlier in the day.


But by the time the Moto2 machines hit the track the rain had gone and the surface was on the verge of drying, the new surface making it tough for the riders to pick out a dry line or see any puddles.

It was Forward Team’s Lorenzo Baldassarri who went top first, but was deposed a moment later by championship leader Johann Zarco.

The pair continued to swap places over the next 20minutes until Ajo Motorsport’s Zarco just edged ahead as he became the first rider to hit the 2’22 bracket with a lap of 2’22.880s.

With 20 minutes left to run, Jonas Folger climbed to the top, but the Dynavolt Intact GP rider was unable to keep a charging Zarco at bay for long.

Franco Morbidelli aboard the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS machine also came into play,  he went to the top of the sheets, before being knocked back to second by Zarco.

But the Italian wasn’t finished and with just a few minutes left he went faster again, as the times had now tumbled into the 2’20s.

A couple of riders were now out on track with slicks but the man on a charge was Zarco. Crossing the line with 20 seconds to go he was in the 2’19s and set off on one last push.

AGR Team’s Axel Pons, who was running a slick on the rear, shot up to third behind Morbidelli to knock Folger onto the second row as Zarco continued to fly.

He crossed the line with a remarkable lap of 2’18.621s, beating Morbidelli by 2.1s to secure pole. Morbidelli held onto second with Pons third and Folger fourth.


Thomas Luthi, who has won the last two races, came back from a slow start to secure fifth on the grid while Baldassarri ended the day in sixth.

QMMF Racing Team’s Xavier Simeon will line up seventh ahead of Italtrans Racing Team’s Mattia Pasini in eighth with Remy Gardner ninth and Simone Corsi 10th.

Britain’s Sam Lowes had a tough day, the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 rider only able to secure 13th spot on the grid, while Danny Kent will start from 24th.

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