Monday, October 31, 2016

Zarco retains Moto2 title with a lights-to-flag win at Sepang

Ajo Motorsport's Johann Zarco (centre) with his trophy after winning the Moto2 race
of Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit on Sunday.
- GLENN GUAN / The Star


SEPANG: Frenchman Johann Zarco has retained his Moto2 world title.
The Ajo Motorsport rider’s win in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday makes him the first two-time champion since the intermediate class was introduced in 2010.
His lights-to flag win was also enough for him to avoid taking the title race into the final round in Valencia, Spain, in two weeks time.
The win at Sepang has given him an unassailable lead over Swiss rider Thomas Luthi and Spaniard Alex Rins as he wrapped up the only world title still in contention.
Zarco crossed the finish line in 45:51.036 to take his championship tally to 251 points.
Luthi is second with 214 points, with 25 points left to fight for in Valencia.
Zarco, who has six wins and three podium finishes out of 17 races so far, performed a wheelie down the final stretch as the fans roared in approval.
“It’s hard not to cry at a moment like this. It was a good race in wet conditions for me,” said Zarco.
“Although I was not the fastest, I had good pace.
“Then the track began to dry out and, like yesterday in qualifying, I felt a lot better than my rivals, found my line and was able to find references.
“It’s great to take the win – and the title. A lot of things went through my mind on the last three laps and I had to be very focused, but the advantage of three seconds made me more confident, if not calmer.
“I want to thank the Ajo Motorsport and everyone who has supported me.
“It’s very nice to be world champion for the second time with them.
“This title has been more exciting than last year because the situation was different, it was harder and I had more pressure on me.
“Now it’s time to celebrate with everyone and go to Valencia without pressure.”

-thestar online.

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