16 October 2022 – Phillip Island – Australia
The weekend at the Phillip Island Circuit ended with a good team result, as Ayumu took fourth place, with the second fastest lap of the race, while John crossed the finish line in sixth place, after getting the fastest lap.
We faced this race with the heart turned to our friend Giovanni di Pillo, who left us too soon. His wife and his family have the condolences of all Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max Racing.
Returning to the news of the race, we can say without any doubt that the return to Australia allowed to witness a crazy race from the first laps. The rain fell a few minutes before the race, wet the track, so the Race Direction preferred to delay the start by five minutes, so that it could be declared dry. Ayumu and John started very well, respectively from pole and from the sixteenth position, but while Ayumu in the first laps was a bit more cautious, John recovered many positions and after a few corners he moved into twelfth position.
Ayumu after taking measurements with the track, still wet in some points, began to push and at the beginning of the third lap, with a big overtaking at the last corner, he led the race. Soon with the passing of the laps two small groups were created. In the first, consisting of four drivers, there was Ayumu, while in the group of pursuers, also consisting of four drivers, there was John. The leading group with a great pace has increased its advantage. Numerous changes in front seen during the 23 laps of the race, with very spectacular overtakings. In different situations Ayumu led the race and showed great speed, obtaining on lap 10 an excellent 1’36.923. He started the penultimate lap in first position and in the next two laps, the numerous overtakings that followed, relegated him to fourth position, just over half a second from the podium.
John here in Australia showed what he’s made of! In fact, in the race, he was very fast, exhibiting a great comeback. 1’36.886 is the fastest lap of the race, which John got on lap eight, time very close to the track record. John fought in the second group and for a few thousandths he missed the fifth position. After the hig side on Friday, John did not lose heart and, without making any mistake, on a track that in the early laps was quite tricky, he brought home very important points for his ranking. For our British driver this sixth place is the second-best result of 2022, after the fifth place in the opening race.
In a week we will be back on track for the Malaysian Grand Prix, but now we leave you to the words of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “It was a crazy difficult race. It started with a half wet track. So in the first 10 laps we kept it steady, but then the front guys could start to push, so I started pushing as well. Three other riders were in a good pace, so finally we could make a small group, which was great. Then, after that we had an incredible fight in the last 7 laps, and unfortunately I ended up 4th. This is a little disappointing because i coukd be on the podium, but I gave my best. The position could change in every lap, so it was difficult, but I am still satisfied with the weekend. We were strong and fast, so we take that as a positive and I just look forward for the next race in Malesia.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “After the weekend we had so far i think P6 is definitely a good step in the right direction. Finally I was able to enjoy riding the bike again in the race. It has been a tough weekend, probably one of the most difficult for me this year. I just felt completely lost throughout all the weekend with the bike and the feeling. I was not really making progresses, finally in qualy we made a good step with the rear. In the race i was determined to finish at my absolute maximum. This is my favourite track and I gave everything I had today, To get a good result. I hope that in Malaysia I can have a good feeling from FP1 onwards.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “A beautiful race of our two drivers, with Ayumu who lost the podium by a few tenths. In the last laps it seems to me that Ayumu missed something, but the fourth place is still a good result. More incisive John, who made a good comeback, considering the starting position. Next week we will be in Malesia and I expect that both our drivers can improve the results obtained here.”
Results Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2022 – Race
1. Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) 37’38.762, 2. Deniz ÖNCÜ (kTM) + 0.345, 3. Sergio GARCIA (GASGAS) + 0.460,
4. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) + 0.560, 6. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) + 7.496.
World Championship Classification Moto3 2022 – After Race 18
World Champion – Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) 290 pts; 2. Sergio GARCIA (GASGAS) 225 pts; 3. Dennis FOGGIA (Honda) 223 pts;
4. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 207 pts; 16. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 72 pts.