04 March 2022 – Lusail International Circuit – Qatar
The first day of the first Grand Prix of the year goes to the archive, with an excellent second place for John, while unfortunately Ayumu had a small technical problem, which did not allow him to finish his time attack.
The weather on the Lusail International Circuit was very good in both sessions, although in PP2 the sky was a bit overcast. Temperatures were also excellent, in fact in the second session there were 26 °C in the air and 33 °C on the ground.
In free practice 2 almost all the drivers on the grid improved their performance and John got the time of 2’05.344, on the penultimate of the twelve completed laps. 0.424 seconds is his gap from the leader of the combined ranking I. Guevara. For Ayumu unfortunately a technical problem, just in the lap where he was improving his time. In the combined ranking he is twenty-second, with a time of 2’07.112 and a gap of 2.192.
Here are the words of our drivers, and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
JOHN MCPHEE : “It was a great start. A big thank you to my team because they’ve been working really hard inside the pit. trying to make the adaptations for me a little bit more comfortable. Of course it is only one session but it is nice to be at the front. So there is definitely still more work to be done but things are going in the right direction and we are happy for now. We will analyse all data and try to improve again for tomorrow. Qualifying is always one of the most important sessions in the weekend and after today’s performance of course front row start would be nice. I will definitely be aiming for that, but I definitely would say that top six to top nine would be nice because you can fight from there.”
AYUMU SASAKI : “In to FP1 we were trying to understand the track because it is one year we are not riding here. I felt good and in fp2 we were focusing on the setup. We were improving every outing and I was very happy. When we put the new tires we had a technical issue and I couldn’t manage to do a fast lap, but we know our potential. Tomorrow will be a little bit more difficult, due to condition of the track but i think it is still possible to do Q2 lap time. Going to Q2 will be the main target for tomorrow morning and to do well tomorrow qualifying and being ready for the race.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “I am very happy to start a new season with Husqvarna Motorcycles. It was a good start for John, who after good free prectice managed to get the second position. It is a pity that Ayumu had a small technical problem, while he was improving his time. I am sure tomorrow he will strike back.”