24 September 2022 – Mobility Resort Motegi – Japan
The weather forecast in Japan is hardly wrong and, as expected, this morning the rain welcomed us on the Twin Ring of Motegi. As we said free practice 2 was held with a wet track, so the session was useful to get familiar with this new condition, but the times were not relevant for entry into the second qualifying session. Thanks to the excellent times obtained yesterday, Ayumu and John gained direct access to qualifying 2.
John in the wet was very fast and in free practice 2 got the time of 2’09.922, being fifth. Ayumu was ranked fourteenth, with the time of 2’11.074.
Qualifying also took place on a wet track, as during the morning the rain continued to wet the track. It must be said that the track conditions have definitely worsened, compared to the morning and this has prevented all the riders to repeat the times of free practice 2..
Ayumu gradually increased his pace, obtaining in the last of the seven laps completed the time of 2’11.942. Thanks to this performance, tomorrow Ayumu will start from the fourth position on the grid. A little further back, in twelfth position we find John, who got the time of 2’12.993, after completing also he seven laps.
Here are the words of our two drivers and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “Today was a good day.and I’m happy that I finished qualifying in fourth position. I improved on the wet condition, which is very important, But tomorrow it looks like the race will be held on a dry track. We have a very good pace on dry. Tomorrow we need a smooth start and then I will try to read the race and fight for the win in my home race.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “In the morning in FP2, I managed to find a good rhythm. Lap after lap i was going faster and finished P5, very very close to the front. I had a small crash in the FP2, it was unfortunate, but on the bike ther was no damage and I am ok. Then in qualifying unfortunately I did not feel so good. I tried to find a good feeling and a good rhythm, but with only 15 minutes in the session I had no time to come in and make changes to the bike, so I qualified P12, which is a little hit disappointing, considering this morning results. Anyway tomorrow looks like the forecast will be much different and we can look forward to the race.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “The rain did not catch us unprepared, since tomorrow, especially with Ayumu, we will start from a good position. Our two drivers did not make any mistakes in either of the two sessions held today at Motegi and they both managed, lap after lap, to get familiar with the difficult conditions of the track. Tomorrow the weather forecast does not announce rain. With only one active session in the dry, it will be essential to pay attention to the setup, to be competitive even in the race. Ayumu has proven to be very competitive in the dry, so tomorrow he will have to aim for a good result in the home race.”
Results Motul Grand Prix of Japan 2022 – Qualifying
Pole – Tatsuki SUZUKI (Honda) 2’11.246, 4. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 2’11.942, 12. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 2’12.993.