Reigning Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco has finally found his form in Argentina, making the most of slippery track conditions to slide his Ajo Motorsport Kalex to pole position by 0.190.
"I'm happy with this first day in Argentina. It is very good to finish as the fastest rider of the day; it is important for confidence and to make sure we are on the right track with the setup. After the mistake in Qatar, I have come to this circuit that I like lot and I am very focused on doing well.
“Overall the day went very well, although it was very hot compared to last year and that prevented us from being as fast. We have to stay calm, improve our times tomorrow and feel even more comfortable riding in order to get as prepared as possible for the race."
He led Japanese rider Takuumi Nakagami, while Brit Sam Lowes was content with his pace for third despite the lack of grip.
“This year the track conditions are worse than in 2015, with less grip. However, the situation is the same for everybody, and we had a positive first day, because I have a good pace and I feel like I’m not trying too hard to be in the top positions.
“We made a big improvement this afternoon on the rear of the bike and tomorrow we will try to improve the front. We can still improve, but we are already competitive.”
Jonas Folger, Alex Marquez and Hazrin Syahrin made up the provisional second row, while Moto3 world champion Danny Kent, who was second in the day’s opening session, finished eighth.