03 September 2022 – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli – Italy
A few minutes before the start of qualifying 2, a very light rain began to fall on the Misano World Circuit. Both of our drivers in free practice 3 won direct access to qualifying 2. Ayumu with the fourth time of the combined, John with the thirteenth.
John and Ayumu at the click of the green light immediately went on track, to try to print a good time and get so safe from possible increases in the intensity of the rain. In fact, the rain was rather light and steady during the 15 minutes of qualifying. John made a single run and lap after lap improved his confidence with the treacherous track. At the penultimate of the nine laps, he got the time of 1’42.657, thanks to which tomorrow he will start in eighth position on the grid. John was particularly comfortable with the conditions found on the track and was delayed by poleman D. Öncü by 0.209 seconds.
As for Ayumu, while improving his performance lap after lap, he never had the necessary confidence to get a significant time. His 1’43.550 is the seventeenth time, with which he has a delay of 1.102 s. Tomorrow the weather is rather uncertain, but in any case, during the weekend Ayumu has shown a great speed, which will be crucial to make a great comeback.
Following the words of John, Ayumu and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “The FP3 was good, I felt good on the bike, we improved from yesterday and I am happy about that. I n the qualifying instead we raced in very difficult conditions because the track was not completely wet or dry. In fact it was mostly dry but, keeping in mind my two injuries this year, I had many thoughts in my head that I should not listen that much! I know that I have good pace on a dry track and today it was just an unnecessary risk to take. I wanted to just finish the qualifying, reason why we are in P17, which I am disappointed for sure, but at the same time I am not angry. I am just keeping calm and I know that, if tomorrow the track will be dry, I will be in the front like in the last times and we will have a great race. If the track will be wet, we don’t know what is going to happen, but anyway, we are going to try and finish the race. Today was just unlucky during the qualifying, and let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “Looking at the gap from the top, only 0.2 from the fastest time is quite a successful session in these track conditions. P8 is not something to smile about, but starting in the first 3 rows is always the target. The thing I am most happy about is that we made some progress with the feeling of the bike. I was able to ride alone, and I think we are in a good shape for the race of tomorrow.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “The difficult conditions with which the qualifications were carried out did not allow Ayumu to express himself better. However this is not a problem for the race. In fact, I expect that, especially if the race were to take place in dry conditions, Ayumu can recover and fight for the leading positions. I’m happy for John, since he managed to express himself well, winning the third row. I hope that tomorrow both drivers will have a chance to fight for victory.”
Results Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini – Qualifying
Pole – Deniz ÖNCÜ (KTM) 1’42.448, 8. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 1’42.657, 17. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 1’43.550.