Super second at San Marino GP for McPhee

2019-09-16 00:49
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee has taken his third podium of 2019, securing second place on the final lap of today’s Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. However, it was an unsuccessful day for team-mate Ayumu Sasaki, who was caught out on the opening lap and crashed out of the race.

Starting from 14th and forced to take avoiding action not once but twice as other riders fell in the low-grip conditions at Misano, McPhee had to pick his way through the field from 18th to the podium. Showing incredible race pace, he was able to close down the leading group to leave himself in a perfect position to capitalise in the frenetic final laps, getting involved in the battle for the podium before finally setting up a last lap overtake for second place.

Sasaki was left wanting more, with an opening lap incident meaning that he wasn’t able to show off his own strong race pace. Trying to pick his way through the field after qualifying on the seventh row, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when another rider’s error helped end his race.

Moto3 returns to action next weekend at the Gran Premio de Aragon, with practice starting on Friday 20th September and race day at Motorland Aragon on Sunday 22nd.

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John McPhee
2nd (+0.112)

Ayumu Sasaki

“We weren’t so happy with the qualifying results, because we knew that our riders had the pace and it’s always a risk starting so far back in the pack. That’s what we saw with Ayumu, and it’s really disappointing because he could have been fast. John spent all race just chipping away and getting closer and closer to the front, and he did an amazing job to get there. I’m so happy for him and the team that he was able to finish second.”

“It was an interesting race. I had good pace all weekend, but I left myself with a lot of work to do after a crash in qualifying. I made a plan for the start, but it didn’t go right from the first corner - I wanted to make up as many positions as possible, but I got caught up in someone's crash and found myself in P16. I worked hard and made my way to the top ten, but someone else crashed and the next thing I knew I was back in P18 again! It was difficult to make my way through the pack, but I had the rhythm to be fast and I just needed to pick them off one at a time. Being able to bridge the gap to the leading group was the most satisfying part of the race, but it also meant that I had to settle myself again after doing it. Third was possible, but when I saw a crash in front of me on the last lap I knew I could go one better. There was a chance of the win, but with four corners to go I made a pass for second that was on the limit, and it just left me a little bit too far back to have a go. I owe a huge thanks to the team for giving me a great bike today and I can’t wait for next weekend!”

“It’s been a difficult weekend for me, with lots of ups and downs. We had good pace but didn’t qualify too well, and I knew that I needed to work hard in the first few laps to get to the front. I was focused on that, started well, gained four positions - and the guy in front of me braked really early and there was nothing I could do. I wasn’t over the limit, it was the first lap, and it was my mistake but it’s the sort of thing that can happen in big groups. I need to move on from it, concentrate on how we had good pace and how amazing the bike felt, because I’m disappointed that I couldn’t bring home the result. At least with back to back races, I can put it behind me and start another race weekend strongly by utilising on how strong we were in Misano."
Moto3 Race Results - Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini
1 Tatsuki Suzuki 24 SIC58 Squadra Corse 40'00.034

Source: SIC Racing Team

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