26 June 2022 – TT Circuit Assen – Netherlands
A memorable day, the one lived today at the TT Circuit of Assen. Ayumu gets his first victory in Moto3 and does it on the birthday of our Team Owner, the Legend Max Biaggi.
A perfect day, especially considering that this is the second race for Ayumu, after the return. In fact, Ayumu missed two races due to a head injury and a fractured collarbone, remedied in free practice at the Italian Grand Prix. Ayumu was simply perfect and even today he showed all his lucidity, even in the most exciting moments of the race. The first winning choice was for the rear tire, as he preferred to use a soft cover. Ayumu started from pole position, but in the first laps he did not get caught up in the enthusiasm. At the first corner he passed third and, with progression, he increased his pace. On the third lap he was the fastest on track, with the time of 1’42.275 and two laps later he lowered the best time, getting 1’41.497, which is his best lap. The race was a succession of overtakings, in the fast sections, but also in the slow one, that the TT Circuit can offer. Ayumu did not make the slightest mistake and with great determination remained in the leading positions, since during the race he never fell below the fourth position. With two laps to go Ayumu exchanged the lead with I. Guevara, for many times and managed to start the last lap first. During the last lap he lost the lead of the race by a few corners, which he recovered with a decisive overtaking in turn 9. In the last meters he managed to lengthen the pace, thus being able to pass the finish line solo. Thanks to the twenty-five points gained, Ayumu is now fourth in the championship, two points from the podium!
The weekend could have been even better, with a little more luck. In fact, a few corners from the end John was fifth, but unfortunately a slide at Turn 9 denied him a good result, which he would have deserved. Our English driver made a different technical choice from that of Ayumu and in fact he preferred to mount a hard rear tire. In the first laps he was careful not to make mistakes and to preserve the tire. He started eleventh and on the finish line of the first lap he passed seventeenth. Hence, he started his spectacular comeback that led him to the fifteenth lap in second position. John was very good at making the tire work well, and in the last laps he was among the fastest on the track. In fact, on the thirteenth lap, he got the new All Time Lap Record with a time of 1’41.190. This is an incredible performance, which John almost replicated with two laps to go, getting the time of 1’41.269. It’s a real shame that our rider slipped, as he could have reached a great top five.
Here are the words of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi, who on his birthday climbed on the podium of Assen.
AYUMU SASAKI : “I am very happy with this victory. Today was a very good day, and I had a very good bike. Due to the injury I was out for three weeks, but I kept believing that I could win. The team and everyone supported me in the best way and today I am able to give back to them a result which is amazing. I wanted this win, not only for myself, but mainly for the people who have helped me all this time. I am just so happy, now I have the summer break to recover myself properly and and come back even stronger.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “Initially after the race I was very angry about the crash. Afterwards however I thought about how strong we were in the race, in fact we were fast and even got the new All Time Lap Recodr of the TT Circuit of Assen, using the hard rear tyre. As the laps went by, I felt better on the bike and in my comebackI was also in second place. We showed that we were in the fight today for the podium. There are so many positives to take away from the weekend overall. Obviously I am not happy with the way the race ended. I need to say a huge congratulations to the team and to Ayumu for the first victory. I hope the next time we can both be on the podium together.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “An amazing day. Ayumu gave me a beautiful Birthday gift. He did a fantastic race, with great determination and without making any mistakes. Moto3 races are always unpredictable, but Ayumu, remaining in the leading positions, managed to stay away from any problems. We take what could have been ours for quite some time, but the races are like this. I’m very sorry for John. He would have deserved the top five, as he was the fastest on the track and besides that, he managed to make a smart race, even with a different tire choice. Now there is the summer break, but we are already projected to 2023.”
Results Motul TT Assen 2022 – Race
1. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 37’28.371, 2. Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) + 0.314, 3. Sergio GARCIA (GASGAS) + 0.392,
NC. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) – Caduta all’ultimo giro in curva 8. Pilota illeso.
World Championship Classification Moto3 2022 – After Race 11
1. Sergio GARCIA (GASGAS) 182 pts; 2. Izan GUEVARA (GASGAS) 179 pts; 3. Dennis FOGGIA (Honda) 115 pts;
4. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 113 pts; 19. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 24 pts.