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New riders in the Moto2™ mix

 New riders in the Moto2™ mix

The likes of Zarco, Lowes and Folger were joined at the top by a seasoned veteran and a rookie coming of age.

Thursday practice at the Motul TT Assen saw Championship leader Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) top the timesheets thanks to a last second flying lap in FP2.  The Frenchman continues to prove that he is a threat at every round and in every session, able to frequently produce a fast lap at the end of a session or race. “I want to keep the same strategy as in Catalunya and be strong from practice to prepare for the race. I think I did a good job and we had a good plan with tyres, with old ones I’m quite fast and I’m not too bad on the soft,” he said after a successful first day.

Third overall was Sam Lowes (Speed Up Racing), another usual suspect towards the front in Moto2™. His Speed Up framed machine prefers the cooler conditions that FP1 and FP2 were held in and the Brit was fighting for the podium here last year, before crashing twice. “It was really good today, we ended third but this afternoon we didn’t use a new soft tyre. The race tyre will for sure be the soft one but I think we are there. I made many fast laps but Zarco has a good rhythm,” reflected Lowes.

Simone Corsi (Athina Forward Racing) is one of the most experienced riders in the Moto2™ class, having debuted in the class at its open in Qatar 2010 and claiming a total of seven podiums since then. Last year was a tough year for the Roman, a wrist injury at Silverstone ending his season prematurely and while he has had flashes of his previous form Assen appears to be a full return.

The Italian finished FP1 in eighth and improved in FP2 to finish second overall with a pace comparable to that of Zarco as the pair seem able to run in the mid to low 1’38s with relative ease. “Today the second position is a good result and I am very happy. The bike is not so bad and the feeling is very good. I used the soft tyre and had a good feeling,” said Corsi.

Assen also saw reigning Moto3™ World Champion Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) begin to demonstrate what he is truly capable of on a Moto2™ bike. Both he and teammate Tito Rabat had a tough off-season, testing frequently rained out and filled with crashes for the pair thus leaving them at a disadvantage in the opening races.

Marquez has put in commendable performances, scoring points in all but one race, but has been overshadowed by fellow rookie Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) until now. At this early stage Assen appears to be the first race where Marquez will be able to fully demonstrate his abilities having now had half a season to adjust to the intermediate class. The Spaniard won the Moto3™ race in the Netherlands, on just his second visit to the track.

2015 has seen Jonas Folger (AGR Team) win twice, but also fail to finish twice. The up and down nature of the German means he can often surprise come race day and by starting the weekend in fourth he’ll certainly be one to watch alongside the usual suspects.

 

Tags:
Moto2, 2015, MOTUL TT ASSEN, Sam Lowes, Simone Corsi, Johann Zarco, Forward Racing, Speed Up Racing, Ajo Motorsport

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