22 October 2022 – Sepang International Circuit – Malaysia
In the Malaysian Grand Prix Ayumu and John will start respectively from the seventh and twenty-second positions.
Free practice 3 track conditions prevented most drivers from improving their times. In fact, in many parts the track was wet and we could mount slick tires only in the last minutes. Ayumu, despite not having improved his time, thanks to a great time in yesterday, he ranked second, thus gaining direct access to qualifying 2. Unfortunately, the brake problem, accused yesterday in both rounds of practice, limited John, effectively taking away his chance to get straight into Q2. In fact, he also did not improve his time and in the combined ranking he ranked twenty-first.
The Moto3 drivers found the track in perfect condition at the beginning of qualifying 1. John completed seven laps in Q1 and on the fourth he got his best lap, with a time of 2’13.240. Our British driver will start tomorrow from the eighth row, in 22nd position.
Ayumu in qualifying 2 joined the track among the last and got a great time without using any trail. 2’11.907 is the time with which our rider tomorrow will start from the third row, with a delay from poleman D. Foggia of 0.496 s.
Here are the statements of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi, at the end of qualifying.
AYUMU SASAKI : “I felt good today overall. The FP3 was a little bit wet, so we could not try many things, but in qualifying I had a good feeling. Yesterday, we improved small things on the bike, of which I am very happy about. We know where we can improve a little bit more and that is good. My pace is very good and in the end I will start from the seventh position on the grid. I actually expected a little bit more, but today it is so! I just need to stay calm, have a good start and try to fight for the podium.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “Today was another struggle. I feel like I’m riding good but just can’t find the pace I’ve always been capable of. I pushed over my limit in the qualifying going alone but this was unfortunately my maximum with the package I have. Tomorrow I’ll dig deep like always and try to come through the pack in the race.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “The starting position is not decisive in Moto3, and this has been demonstrated several times. That said, today I expected both of our drivers to gain some more positions on the grid. Ayumu has the extenuating circumstance of having obtained his time without taking advantage of a trail, which we know how much it can be decisive, on the long straights of the Sepang International Circuit. I feel sorry for John. After the problems he had yesterday, he should have gained direct access to Q2, in order to fight for the leading positions. In the race tomorrow we must push right away, avoiding destroying the tires.”
Results PETRONAS Grand Prix of Malaysia 2022 – Qualifying
Pole – Dennis FOGGIA (Honda) 2’11.411, 7. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 2’11.907, 22. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 2’13.240.