04 November 2022 – Circuit Ricardo Tormo – Spain
The limited length of Valencia and the excellent weather conditions, encountered in the first two free practice sessions, allowed all the drivers on the grid to be very fast. This is why in the combined classification we find 22 riders within less than a second of each other.
Friday of the Valencian Community Grand Prix started very well for both John and Ayumu. In fact in Free Practice 1 Ayumu finished fourth, while John finished seventh, after having his best lap cancelled due to a yellow flag being shown. Even in FP2 the track was warmed up by a beautiful sun, reaching 36°C. Ayumu and John spent much of the session exploring some solutions in order to refine their setting and in the final minutes of the session they carried out their time attack.
Ayumu unfortunately stumbled into a harmless crash in turn 6 a few minutes from the end, while he was trying to improve his time. In the combined standings he was tenth, with a time of 1’39.715, set in the morning. For him a gap of 0.248s from Friday’s leader T. Suzuki. A few places further back we find John, who is thirteenth, with a time of 1’39.837 and a gap of 0.370s.
Here are the words of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “I am happy with this first day of practice. When I mounted the new tyre I tried to push but I slipped on the first lap. I didn’t hurt myself. I have a good pace and good feeling with my bike, so tomorrow we will try to improve to get the top five. Tomorrow we just need to improve a little more, but we need to keep calm, because we are capable of good qualifying.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “Today was a positive day. I have a good feeling with the bike and I am very happy about that. In both the first and second sessions I was within three tenths of the fastest. Unfortunately in free practice 1 my fastest lap was cancelled after a yellow flag was shown. In my time attack in FP2 I found a bit of traffic and I think this is positive, because it means I still have some margin to be faster. There are just a few small things to improve for tomorrow. I want to enjoy this last weekend in Moto3.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “Today we are a little behind in the rankings, compared to our usual positions. Ayumu’s performance was certainly affected by the small crash during his time attack. Both our riders were quite fast this morning, so I expect that tomorrow they can improve and attack the first positions on the grid. There is still one race to go and we have to bring home a good team result.”
Results Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana 2022 – Combined FP1 – FP2
1. Tatsuki SUZUKI (Honda) 1’39.467, 10. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 1’39.715, 13. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 1’39.837.