18 September 2022 – Motorland Aragón – Spain
After the regret of yesterday and the impossibility of being able to celebrate a great second position of Ayumu in qualifying, today the second place of Ayumu and the tenth position of John return us a bit of joy. We remain firmly convinced that what we saw yesterday is unacceptable, but after all the storm of negative emotions experienced by the whole Team, now we want to immerse ourselves in the story of the race.
The start of Ayumu, as well as that of John, respectively from the second and fifth position, was quite good, so much so that on the end of the first lap Ayumu kept his position, while John slipped in sixth position. Soon a first group of three drivers was created, in which our Ayumu was always present, a group that showed an incredible step right from the start. In fact already on the second lap all three got their best lap and in particular, on that occasion, our Japanese driver got the second fastest lap of the race, with a time of 1’57.967. Ayumu kept a very high pace throughout the race and never left the second position. With three laps to go the group was reduced to just two drivers, with Ayumu in the chasing position. In the last lap Ayumu lost a few tenth, crossing the finish line in second position. After the zero of the last race, the twenty points earned are fundamental for the world ranking of Ayumu, so this second place today is worth a lot.
Even John was fast from the start, leading the group of pursuers, in fourth position. On the third lap he had an excellent 1’58.111, which was the sixth fastest lap in the race and although the gap between the first three laps increased considerably, he continued to lead the group of pursuers until the sixth lap. Unfortunately during the seventh lap he did not enter a gear and this caused him to lose about two seconds, causing him to slide into twelfth position. John in the rear has engaged many duels with other drivers, managing to cross the finish line in tenth position. For John it is the fourth consecutive race in which he manages to earn points. Our British driver is eighteenth in the world ranking.
Here are the words of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “I am happy about today, because I think we gave the maximum, finishing in P2, even though I was expecting to fight for the win. I need to work a little bit more at the points where we lose something. The next race will be in my home grand prix. We need to improve, so we will work to do this and try to fight for the win in Japan.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “It was unfortunate having had some problems in the race. I felt very strong and managed to reach the front of the second group. I think the front three guys, being very fast from the beginning and having gained a large gap it would have been difficult to catch them, but I felt strong enough to at least stretch the second group or at least pull away some riders. Unfortunately, at that moment the bike did not change gear and I lost a lot of positions. I was able to recover quite well, but with only three laps to go, when I arrived at the front it happened again. This was unfortunate, because I was not able to be there on the last lap. Like I said, I felt very strong and through the whole race I was able to pass the other pilots without too much difficulties. From my side I can be positive about this and take this speed and momentum to the next weekend.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “I am very happy for the result achieved today in the race by Ayumu and John. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of regret about what happened yesterday in qualifying. In thirty years of racing I have never seen anything like this and my biggest regret is that I had to see this thing in my box. I would have liked to have had a way to support the guys on my Team, , but such an action is unjustifiable. I firmly believe that such an action should be punished harshly, because it damages the image of our sport and that of my team. It was a real shame, also because between the qualifying result and today’s race we would have had the opportunity to fully rejoice.”
Results Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón 2022 – Race
1. Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) 37’29.944, 2. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) + 0.957, 3. Daniel HOLGADO (KTM) + 6.536,
10. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) + 17.071.
World Championship Classification Moto3 2022 – After Race 15
1. Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) 229 pts; 2. Sergio GARCIA (GASGAS) 196 pts; 3. Dennis FOGGIA (Honda) 171 pts;
4. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 158 pts; 18. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 53 pts.