23 September 2022 – Mobility Resort Motegi – Japan
The first day of practice of the Japanese Grand Prix took place with substantial changes to the usual schedule. In fact, the first free practice session, which normally takes place at 9 am local has not been held. All this to ensure that any delays in the arrival of the crates from Spain, do not affect the weekend program, crates in which the material of all the teams is packed,.
There was therefore a single free practice session, which started at 13.15 local time (GMT +9). The weather, which was the other uncertainty for this grand prix, fortunately did not create any problems and the session was held with a dry track, with overcast skies and with the temperature of the ground that reached 32ºC.
Ayumu was very fast, as well as constant. In fact, in the last of the two runs, He raced on the 1’57 and a half mark. On the first lap of his last run, he got the best lap of 1’57.493. In the next two laps he got the time of 1’57.917 and 1’57.627 respectively. After 15 laps completed, our Japanese driver was delayed by the leader of FP1 D. Moreira by 0.241 seconds.
Two positions behind, in fifth position we find John, who at the last of the fourteen laps completed got the time of 1’57.585, with a gap of 0.333 s. In his best lap our British driver managed to get in all four sectors his best time, this is a proof of the improvement he managed to get at the end of the session.
The results of our drivers this Friday are very important, considering that tomorrow during the second and last free practice session, the weather is very uncertain, so the time achieved today, would allow both to access directly to qualifying 2.
In the following we report the words of the protagonists of these free practices 1.
AYUMU SASAKI : “He obtained the third position. I think today it was a good day. I felt good on the bike and although we have some places to improve, we know how. I am not worried, because this it is a good start. I am happy to be back in Home, I see many Japanese fans out there and it’s amazing. We hope the weather tomorrow will be good.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “First of all it is so nice to be back here in Japan and see so many fans. It has been a good first day. I am enjoying a lot the practice and it is a shame that we have only one session today. We were able to have a solid session and found the direction we need to go, and that is good. I am fifth, not so far from the front, only two or three tenths and, as I said before, I’m happy for this first day here in Japan.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “We started the Japanese Grand Prix on the right foot. It is important that both Ayumu and John have already qualified for Q2, as the weather for tomorrow does not promise anything good. I have to say that after two years of pause I saw again my drivers on track on this circuit has excited me. As I said, it’s a good start, but there’s still a lot of work to do, so we need to stay focused and work tirelessly.”
Results Motul Grand Prix of Japan 2022 – Free Practice 1
1. Diogo MOREIRA (KTM) 1’57.252,2. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 1’57.493, 5. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 1’57.585.