14 May 2022 – Le Mans – France
In fact Ayumu, with a time of 1’42.302 was eleventh, while John finished just behind his teammate, getting a similar time, since he scored 1’42.327.
In qualifying, which took place with a temperature that reached 30 ºC on the ground, on his second lap Ayumu got the time of 1’42.634. After the return to the pits and in the last of the available laps, our Japanese driver set the time of 1’42.252, with a gap from the poleman of 0.631 s. Ayumu gained the twelfth position on the grid of the French Grand Prix.
Some understandable difficulties for John, given the two months of inactivity. In fact in qualifying he got his best lap in the first run, getting the time of 1’42.581. In the second run he managed to repeat a similar time, but without improving. Our British driver has a gap of 0.960 s and tomorrow he will start from the seventeenth position on the grid.
Here are the impressions of Ayumu, John and our Team Owner Max Biaggi.
AYUMU SASAKI : “It was a decent qualifying. In the first outing I struggled a bit, as the setup we used in FP3 did not give me confidence. I could not really push in the first outing, so I returned to the pits. The team did a great job, trying to improve the bike in a short time. We changed the setup and only had one lap to check that everything was OK. I think overall I can be quite satisfied with the lap I did on my own. I did 1’42.252 which is my best lap over the weekend. Of course it could have been better, but considering where we started yesterday, it’s ok. We know we can improve, since we have a good pace. I can’t wait to race tomorrow and try to fight for the podium.”
JOHN MCPHEE : “I was very happy to go straight to Q2 and finish combined practice 12th overall. In QP I wasn’t able to make the most of the new tyre so I will need to start from P17. Overall I feel like I’ve made a good come back so far being not far at all from the pace. Tomorrow the target will be to move forward and try to manage my pace over full race distance. I think we’re in good shape and I’m excited to get another race under my belt.”
MAX BIAGGI – TEAM OWNER : “An unprofitable qualification for us today. It should be noted that John returns to racing after two months of complete inactivity and this has an impact in the long run. In free practice 3 we had a good foundation for doing well. Unfortunately, however during the qualifying session, neither of our two drivers managed to make a sufficient step to improve their time. In addition the gaps here at Le Mans are really short, so for a few tenths you can find yourself starting quite behind. We must work, without any doubt, to try to recover the delay.”
Results SHARK Grand Prix de France 2022 – Qualifying
Pole – Dennis FOGGIA (Honda) 1’41.621, 12. Ayumu SASAKI (Husqvarna) 1’42.252, 17. John MCPHEE (Husqvarna) 1’42.581.