SHARK’s Johann Zarco was crowned the 2015 Moto2 World Champion at the weekend during the Japanese Grand Prix, after a dominant season with the Ajo Motorsport team, and after title contender Tito Rabat was ruled of out competing with a broken left arm.
Zarco takes the championship title still with four rounds remaining, but an impressive season from the Frenchman has seen him score seven race wins and podiums in 13 out of 14 races.
Even though the title was already his, Zarco wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than victory in Japan. Pushing all the way over the 15 laps, conditions saw the race start fully wet but the track was quickly drying. Managing the situation perfectly, Zarco waited to take the lead on the fifth lap and went on to take his seventh win of the season.
Meanwhile fellow SHARK supported Sam Lowes finished his weekend in eighth position. Starting from the second row of the grid, the young Brit got a good start off the line, but lost places due to the conditions and crossed the line eighth collecting valuable season points.
In MotoGP, Scott Redding achieved his goal of a top-ten finish in Motegi. Struggling with grip in the morning’s warm-up, Redding opted to switch to a harder option rear wet tyre for the race. The gamble paid off and the Marc VDS rider was consistently one of the fastest riders on track. Aleix Espargaro was close behind coming home in 11th place.
After a two-hour delay due to the weather conditions the Moto3 race was reduced to 13 laps and the riders received a 10-minute warm-up session to get used to the wet track. Miguel Oliveria lined up on the grid in fifth place, after he was given a three-place penalty due to an incident during qualifying.
Oliveria enjoyed the challenging wet race and after moving into second place, set about chasing the lead rider. Try as he might the Portuguese rider wasn’t able to pass Niccolo Antonelli and crossed the line second, 1.053s behind Antonelli. Oliveria is third in the championship - 65-points behind the leader Danny Kent.
The MotoGP paddock now heads to Philip Island, Australia, for the 16th round of the championship this weekend 16-18 October. It will be a busy weekend for SHARK riders as the finale of the MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Brands Hatch and the final World Superbike round comes from Qatar.
It's fantastic. It's a dream come true to be Moto2 World Champion. I did not expect things to go this way, and I feel bad for Tito [Rabat]. I hope he recovers soon. It has been a spectacular season, and we have always been fighting for the win at every race. If we haven’t got it, we have always been very close. The work we have done has been great and the atmosphere in the team has been fundamental.
In 2011 I had experienced my best year in the World Championship, with Ajo Motorsport, and I knew that if I wanted to show my top form again, we should get back together. This year we were able to work together again and, thanks to my experience and the passion for winning that they have, we have been able to finish the job we started in 2011. I want to thank all the whole team, Aki [Ajo], Laurent [Fellon] and his family, my family and friends, the partners and all who have helped me.