Ayumu Sasaki tops opening day of action at the German Grand Prix as McPhee makes solid start in 8th
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing started the German Grand Prix in superb fashion, with Ayumu Sasaki ending the first day of practice at the Sachsenring as the fastest rider on track. Sasaki was joined inside the top eight by team-mate John McPhee, with the British racer rounding out a strong day for the team.
McPhee and Sasaki got the morning off to a strong start at the Sachsenring, with both riders coming home in the top ten. McPhee finished FP1 in fourth, spending most of the session clear at the front until the final laps, while his Japanese compatriot was able to work hard on his race pace in the early stages before finishing the session a solid ninth.
It was Sasaki’s turn to spend much of the afternoon’s session at the top of the timesheets, leading the way with a lap time set before the frantic final moments enough to secure the P1 spot for him. McPhee, concentrating on his race pace for the second outing of the day, was able to secure eighth place on his time from the morning’s session. With changeable weather conditions always a risk at the Sachsenring, it also means that both riders have secured their place directly into Q2 should tomorrow’s forecast bring rain.
The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing duo will have another session of free practice tomorrow before the fight for pole position starts at 12.35pm local time (6.35pm Malaysian time).
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“From the first outing this morning I felt really positive. Sachsenring is one of my favourite tracks and that gave me a bit of extra motivation going into the weekend. The bike feels really good; this year we struggled until Assen, but we found a big step forward there. That huge step means that I came here with a load of confidence and was able to finish fastest today. Hopefully now I can bring that good motivation to the race and go into the summer break with a good result.”
#17 John McPhee
“In the first session I had a good rhythm with a hard tyre before putting in a soft tyre to secure a lap time. That meant we could use FP2 to concentrate on the bike settings and to sort out the tyres for longer distances. That gives me another opportunity tomorrow to concentrate on my time attack before qualifying. There’s a lot of riders able to do one fast lap, but when you look at my pace I can do many laps at the same speed, and I feel strong on the bike.”