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Team JiR and GBRacing ready for Moto2 season opener

  Date: Wednesday 04 April, 2012
The 2012 Moto2 World Championship begins this weekend under the floodlights of the Losail circuit, in Qatar. This event held near the capital, Doha is now the traditional season opener, with the excitement of the opening race of the season being played out beneath the 3600 high-intensity floodlights that ring the circuit.For the first part of the season, Team JiR will field just one rider Johann Zarco. The Frenchman will be joined in June by young Brazilian rider Eric Granado, after his 16th birthday. Johann has a two-year deal to launch his assault on the Moto2 championship. The 21-year-old knows just how to fight for a World Championship title, having finished runner-up in last year's 125cc series, but the new 600cc four-stroke MotoBI is a very different machine from his old 125cc two-stroke. Winter testing has seen Johann work hard to try and adapt his riding style to the bigger machine and this weekend will see him make his competitive debut in the class.

We have a two year plan with Johann and we have a good expectation of his potential for results because he has demonstrated this potential during winter testing. Obviously, we may have to wait a little while to see these results come, because he is still adapting to the Moto2 machine. I think his target after four or five races should be that he will begin to fight with the top riders in the class. Of course, we want him to aim for the top five in the championship in this first year, but we know realistically this will not be easy. So far his riding style is coming on well, but perhaps he's still using a little too much of his old '125 style' where it is about high corner speed. He needs to continue to adapt, using the brakes more and accelerating harder that's the big difference between 125cc and Moto2. This will come though, and from our side of things I can see that Johann can be a guy who is eventually up there fighting with the leaders. This is why we have a two-year deal with him, where next year is when he fights for the title. Who knows, perhaps he will be up there earlier? After all I truly believe that while Moto2 is tougher there will be a lot of younger riders fighting for the 2012 title. It all starts this weekend where I think the track will help Johann as it could suit his style.

I have enjoyed pre-season testing and I feel that my riding style has improved a lot during this time. At the last Jerez test I was able to fight for a good lap-time and this was good for me, now I'm ready to make the next step. On our last day of testing in Spain we were 16th but just one second from the fastest time. That's why I'm now looking at how to shave a further five-tenths which will see us well into the top ten. This is my target for the first race at Losail. I know that if I can get into the top ten, then riding with these guys will teach me more.