PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders take on the third round of the 2019 Moto3 season this weekend.
The Circuit of The Americas -also known as COTA- hosts the only US round of the Moto3 World Championship season for the fourth year in a row. Now in its seventh season, the Americas GP provides a chance for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee to continue their progress and challenge for the podium Stateside.
Sasaki shone at Termas de Rio Hondo a fortnight ago, fighting for the win throughout the race and crossing the finish line in fifth place, his best result in the Moto3 World Championship to date. The Japanese rider, who is tenth in the overall standings, placed 11th at COTA last year.
McPhee has scored points on his last two appearances in the USA and this year will seek to improve on his best result at the track of sixth place in 2015. Despite experiencing a difficult race in Argentina, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider was the fastest man in the Free Practice sessions, as well as the Warm-up. At Austin he will seek to get back to that strong pace and have a chance to fight at the front of the field.
The 17-lap Moto3 race will take place at COTA on Sunday at 11am local time.
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“I have enjoyed a good week here in the United States. We have taken the opportunity to rest up a bit, but at the same time we have also been training hard to prepare for the Americas GP. We spent a few days at the Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp with John [McPhee], Khairul [Idham Pawi] and other members of the team, something that we had done in previous years and that helps us to keep our feel for riding sharp. For me, COTA is the hardest circuit on the calendar; it’s the most tiring and we have to be prepared for it. The Argentina GP was pretty good for us and I regained my confidence, so we have to continue in the same way and try to achieve our first podium. We will be focused right from the first Free Practice session and ready for the race. I can’t wait to be competing with the top riders again.”
#17 John McPhee
“Last week I spent three days in Colorado practicing snowboarding and we also spent two days at the Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp before heading to the circuit. It was a good week, but I’m looking forward to returning to action. We have to take the positives away from the Argentina GP, where I was the fastest in three of the six sessions held during the weekend. My riding was also good, as well as how the team worked. I like the layout of the track at Austin very much: It is very unique and very difficult, but I always have a very good feeling there. Last year I started from the front row of the grid and on previous occasions I managed to enter the Top 6. The goal for this weekend is the same as always: Try to be competitive and try to be as close as possible to the top positions.”