21 February 2022 – Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – Portugal
The second session of this afternoon concluded the official tests in Portimao. These have been three very intense days, in which Ayumu and John did a very profitable job. In fact, in addition to continuing their harmony with their respective teams, they experimented with new setups for their Husqvarna. Ayumu and the crew chief Martinelli made comparisons between different suspension and electronics setups, to adapt the new FR 250 GP to their driving needs. The work for John was a bit different, as for John this is only the third test on a Husqvarna, after riding for three years a bike with a rather different philosophy. It should also be noted that in the team of John, directed by the crew chief Cambarau there is a new Data Engineer Joan Locutura, and a new mechanic Gabriele Guidotti. Both Ayumu and John, having finished their work prematurely, like most of the drivers of the grid, preferred not to take part in the last session today.
Coming to the results, Ayumu ended the tests with a best lap of 1’47.553 and in the combined of the last day of practice he is in fourth position, with a gap from the leader of 0.563 s. He completed 38 laps, getting his best time in the second session today. For John 34 laps completed and best lap of 1’47.794. A gap from the first place of 0.804 s and twelfth place in the combined ranking on Monday.
We’ll leave you to the statements of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “I am very happy about how the test went. On the first few days we focussed a lot on the setup, trying to look for a good lap time and I think our base is very good. I never felt so good on a bike, which is very positive and yeah, I have big confidence going to Qatar. Compared to last year I think I prepared myself very well during the winter, because I did not go home and sand I stopped in Spain training hard. This it payed off. These three days i know that I am very competitive, so that is very good. Now I just can’t wait to ride in Qatar and I hope on Sunday we can finish very well.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “I really enjoyed the last three days here in Portimao. It’s been great to get back with the team again, and to gain experience working together after a few days from the start of the season. It feels like a small family, so it’s been really nice and I’m really happy with everything there. With the bike I’m adapting my riding style. I’m understanding more and more the way I need to ride my Husqvarna, so I think we are in a good shape for Qatar. We lost a little bit of time in this three days, but in the end we came good and we were able to do a reasonable lap time, especially with the hard tires. Of course there is always more to learn, but at the moment it has been very positive and I feel in good shape to start the season.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “In these last tests before the start of the Championship, both Ayumu and John did a good job, with Ayumu who hit the fourth place. The goal was to improve the feeling with both the bike and the team and I think that both riders have made a good step forward. Now we have the race in Qatar, where I expect us to be competitive from the beginning.”