Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco displayed an impressive pace from the word go today at the Phillip Island circuit. Following the eighth fastest time in FP1, he improved by impressive 0.972 seconds in the second session of the weekend in order to finish Friday just 0.555 seconds off the top of the overall classification.
Meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin quickly discovered a new passion at Australian venue and was up to speed equally fast this morning. The Malaysian rookie lowered his lap time by 0.777 seconds in the second Free Practice to miss out on a provisional direct Q2 entry by just 0.046 seconds in finishing 11th of the highly competitive MotoGP field.
Position: 6th - Time: 1'29.686 - Laps: 41
"This has been a decent first day. We got acceptable conditions. The track here in Phillip Island is just amazing and I’m happy that I was quickly on the pace. Then, it’s difficult to improve every lap and find a good setting on the bike to feel very comfortable. There are some riders, who are very fast. I feel I can’t find the same speed as them, but we try to work on the bike to make this step, because you need confidence. The bike gives me this confidence, but we are still missing in acceleration and on this track this is very important. At the moment, I’m happy. I hope to improve tomorrow on the dry to be competitive for the race."
Position: 11th - Time: 1'30.179 - Laps: 40
"I felt really good! To be honest, I didn’t expect I could be so fast from the beginning in Phillip Island, because this track didn’t belong to my favourites in the past. With the GP bike it’s different and I felt confident with this machine on this track. I’m very close to Q2 and I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed about myself because it looks like I have something extra to use the speed a little bit more. But overall, it’s ok. We keep this in the pocket and I hope we have nice weather again tomorrow, so we can try to fight again. The bike works very well for the moment, but tomorrow we definitely have to work on my race pace and I wish all this goes well."