Fourth row start for Sasaki at Dutch GP

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider will start from 10th on the grid, with John McPhee in 20th.

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 team experienced mixed fortunes in qualifying for the Dutch GP, as Ayumu Sasaki claimed 10th position at Assen, whilst a fall in Q1 meant that John McPhee will require a raceday comeback from 20th.

A fourth row start is in store for Sasaki, as he clocked the 11th fastest time in Q2 with a 1min 42.004secs on his final flying lap. However, a penalty for another rider moves Sasaki up a place, to 10th on the grid.

McPhee did not make it out of Q1, closing the session in 8th position. The Briton will thus start the Dutch GP from 20th place. He suffered a crash on his first stint on track, escaping unhurt but with his plans for the remainder of the session affected. His eventual best time was a 1min 42.455secs.

Before qualifying, Sasaki achieved direct access to Q2 for the fourth time this season, by finishing seventh in FP3 thanks to a time of 1min 41.881secs. The Japanese rider took a second off his best time from Friday. McPhee was unable to match his best lap from yesterday, and his 1min 42.468 placed him 22nd in FP3.

The 22-lap Moto3 race will be held tomorrow at 11:00am local time.

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“We did well today. We changed the set-up for the front end from yesterday and this morning we did a lot better in FP3, finishing 7th. I’m happy to have got into Q2, because at the last few races I’ve struggled in qualifying. We wanted a better result in Q2, but I’m satisfied. We have a good race pace and we have to focus on trying to overtake the riders who will start ahead of us. In the last race at Barcelona we started from far back and we were able to reach the front group and fight for the podium. It won’t be easy, but it is a better starting position from which to compete for the podium. I have to stay focused tomorrow and have a good race.”

#17 John McPhee

“At the beginning of the session we devised a plan: Make a pit stop and do two flying laps on each run. However, on my first fast lap I lost the front end and crashed. My pace was good at that time, but I made a mistake. I have to thank the team for repairing the bike so quickly and getting me back on track, even though I wasn’t able to make the cut for Q2. Tomorrow’s race will have a large group, and Assen is a circuit where a fightback is possible. Two years ago I started from 19th here and finished on the podium, so we have to put today behind us and focus on tomorrow’s race.”