04.10.2019 | news

Productive opening day for Sasaki and McPhee in Thailand

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 riders finish opening day at Buriram International Circuit in ninth and 17th

Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee had a productive opening day of track action at the Thailand Grand Prix, finishing the day in ninth and 17th respectively on the combined times. Both riders reported themselves pleased with progress in practice at the Buriram International Circuit, despite a penalty for Sasaki in FP1 that will see him start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.


Sasaki’s best time for the day came in the morning session, with a 1min 43.481secs, the fifth fastest of FP1 and the ninth fastest in the combined times. Despite his back-of-the-grid start on Sunday, the Japanese declared himself happy with his consistency with his times set away from the pack. 


McPhee also ended the day content with the day’s results despite narrowly missing out on securing himself a provisional spot in Q2 for tomorrow afternoon. The Scot set his best lap of the day in FP2, with a 1min 43.682secs the twelfth-fastest of that session and the 17th fastest of the day. This time was set despite John being baulked by other riders on his time attack lap.


Moto3 action continues tomorrow at the Buriram International Circuit with practice kicking off at 0900 local time (1000 Malaysian time) and qualifying at 1235 local time (1335 Malaysian time), ahead of the 22-lap race on Sunday.


John McPhee

“My feeling on the bike is really positive and it’s working very well; I’m already comfortable on it. We’ve been concentrating on longer runs on the race tyre, and we’ve ticked all the boxes we needed to do today. The issues all came when we tried to do a fast lap and I got caught up a little bit in the group. We know how important a slipstream is at Buriram and I was trying to manage that the best I could, but it didn’t quite pay off and I got held up. My race pace is strong and even though we haven’t been able to show the one-lap pace all you need to do is look at my sector times to know that I’m not far away too.”


Ayumu Sasaki

“I started the day really well in FP1 and spent a lot of time riding alone, which was a positive. The penalty was my fault; I saw some people coming so slowed down so that I didn’t hold them up, but then another group caught me too and I moved out of their way and slowed down a little too much. It was my mistake, but it’s an easy one to make at this track with the final sector being so short and tight. Everything felt good again in FP2, and I was able to set a good rhythm on my own. It’s a strong start to the weekend and my speed is fast, so we just need to focus on going a good job tomorrow because it’ll be possible to fight for the podium from the back of the grid.”


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