McPhee and Sasaki upbeat despite disappointment in qualifying

2019-09-16 00:43
The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 duo of John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki have ended the second day of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli disappointed after qualifying 14th and 19th respectively, but are going into tomorrow’s Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini positive that they can make up for it with a strong race performance.

Showing strong pace all throughout practice, McPhee made an unfortunate error at turn four in Q2 that saw his time attack end before it got started. Finishing the session on the fifth row in 14th after a strong banked lap early in the session, he’s nonetheless upbeat about his potential for tomorrow. Expecting a typical Moto3 group battle at the Misano circuit, he knows that his lap times are good enough to ensure he’s once again in the podium fight.

Team-mate Sasaki is similarly reassured about the race despite a crash of his own, with a tumble in FP3 meaning he was forced to attempt to proceed through Q1 to a top 18 grid spot. Not able to set the times he was capable of after catching slower riders on his fastest lap and finishing the session on the seventh row in 19th, he’s confident that he’ll be able to get stuck in when the lights go out.

Sunday’s 23-lap Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli gets underway at 1100 local time (1700 Malaysian time).

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John McPhee
14th (1'44.326)

Ayumu Sasaki
19th (1'43.568)

“Qualifying was a disappointing session, but the crash was my own mistake. I tried to set my time alone but with higher wind and track temperature it was even more important than ever to get a good track position, but I ended up not in a very good group and I made an error as we were fighting for position. But it’s behind us now, and from 14th we can still be in the fight. Everyone’s lap times are very close and it’s going to be a close race with one big group, but the track conditions will play a big part too; the grip is very tricky to manage.”

“I had an unexpected crash in FP3, which is a shame because I had the pace to end the session in the top five and go straight to Q2. I was pushing to the limit to see where I could improve overall, and it’s good that I’ve got the confidence to be able to do that even if the crash was unfortunate. I feel good on the bike this weekend, and it’s great to be confident. I had the pace to be top four and to go to Q2, but it’s too easy to be held up by slow riders and that’s what happened. We have the speed to be at the front of the race tomorrow, and although 19th isn’t a great starting place I can make a good start and the race will be a big group battle anyway.”
Moto3 Qualifying Results - Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1 Tatsuki Suzuki 24 SIC58 Squadra Corse 1'42.844
2 Aron Canet 44 Sterilgarda Max Racing Team +0.121
3 Tony Arbolino 14 VNE Snipers +0.127
4 Jaume Masia 5

Source: SIC Racing Team

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