16.11.2019 | news
Work to do for McPhee and Sasaki after Valencian GP qualifying
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing duo John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki will start tomorrow’s race from P13 and P23
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 duo John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki have work to do in tomorrow’s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, after today’s qualifying session left them set to line up in 13th and 23rd respectively for the 23-lap race at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. But, with close lap times around the 4.0km circuit, the pair will be hoping to see out the 2019 season in style when the lights go out tomorrow morning.
McPhee looked set to have a strong qualifying after a fast performance in this morning’s FP3, ending that session in fifth and showing his great consistency on used tyres. Just losing out on a tow during his time attack attempt in Q2 (after progressing directly to the second session), he ended the day with a lap time of 1min 39.706secs, 1.023secs from pole position. Still able to clinch third in the World Championship, he knows he needs to be on the podium to make that happen.
Sasaki was able to make a big jump forward on the second day of action in Spain, recovering well overnight from the injuries to his right hand that he carried into the weekend from the previous round. Ending FP3 2.101secs from the leaders in P27, he found something extra in Q1 to ensure he’ll start his last race for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing (after three years with the team) from 22nd with a lap time of 1min 40.284secs.
The 2019 Moto3 World Championship concludes tomorrow at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, with the 23-lap race getting underway at 1100 local time (1800 Malaysian time).
“Qualifying wasn’t what we were aiming for, but it was a very strange session with a big change in conditions from FP3 to Q2 as the track warmed up. My qualifying lap was the fastest of the weekend so far, but I ended up completely alone and wasn’t able to benefit from the slipstream. But focusing on the positives, I’ve got good race pace and I think we can be really strong tomorrow. With all the lap times so close it’ll be a normal Moto3 group battle, so we need to ensure that we can be strong on overtaking and in managing our lap time towards the end of the race.”
“Yesterday was a hard day for me, but I thought that today could be better and in the end it was. I had a lot of pain on Friday but I wanted to do well in my last race for the team, especially as it’s one of my best tracks of the year. I wanted to race, and I found some small things to change to sure I had less pain than before. I went faster in practice and in qualifying, I was able to push hard and set a decent lap time; I actually made a little mistake on my fastest lap and could have been even faster. If I can make another step tomorrow morning in warm-up then hopefully we can make it into the fight for the points. I’ll rest up tonight to be in the best shape I can be in.”