Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee head to Qatar to kick off 2019

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders take on Moto3 World Championship in optimistic mood after strong recent Qatar test.

Just days after an intense preseason came to a close, the start of the Moto3 World Championship is edging nearer and Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee are in good form ahead of the opening round at the Losail International Circuit this weekend. The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders are looking forward to heading back to the circuit that hosted three days of tests last weekend, where they both enjoyed strong results.

Ayumu Sasaki heads into his third full season in the Moto3 World Championship, all of which have been with the Sepang Racing Team. The Japanese youngster, Rookie of the Year in 2017, boasts two seventh-place finishes as his best results in Moto3; at Australia in 2017 and Austria in 2018. For 2019, Sasaki’s aim is to continue with his development and improve on those results.

John McPhee is the new face in the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing line-up. The Scotsman is one of the most experienced riders on the grid, with 117 GP appearances to his name, and he has adapted quickly to his new bike, finishing the recent Losail test in sixth position. McPhee is also one of the few riders on this year’s Moto3 grid who knows what it is like to experience victory, having done so at Brno in 2016.

The 2019 Moto3 World Championship gets underway on Friday 8th March with the first free practice sessions. The Moto3 race takes place on Sunday 10th March at 5pm local time.

#71 Ayumu Sasaki 

“We will arrive in Qatar with a good base setting that we found in preseason testing, although we will continue to try and improve it this weekend. This circuit holds good memories for me – last season I finished eighth and this year I want to be fighting for the podium. On Sunday I think there will be a leading group of eight to ten riders and we will try to be amongst it, fighting for those podium positions. I am really looking forward to getting the first round of the season started.”

#17 John McPhee

“I feel ready for the start of the season – I have a good base set-up for the bike and everybody in the team is working hard. We understand the bike and we know what works and what doesn’t. I think I can be up there with the riders who have been winning races in the last couple of years, although it is difficult to say exactly where everybody is right now. I will give 100% and I think I can do a good job, but it is a long season so we have to take it race by race and see where we are at the end of the season.”