McPhee and Sasaki preparing for last hurrah of 2019 season2019-11-15 02:39
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 duo John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki are preparing for the last hurrah of the 2019 Moto3 season this weekend at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, with McPhee’s goal a return to podium success at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and Sasaki out to celebrate three seasons with the team at their final event together. After a series of close Moto3 races for the pair, the technical nature of Valencia and its typically more stretched-out races should also see a change of strategy to round out the year.
McPhee, a third-place finisher in last year’s wet race at the Valencia race, will be looking to continue the form he’s demonstrated throughout the second half of the 2019 season and add to his tally of one win and two podiums. Left unable to be as competitive as planned last time out when contact with another rider took him out of the battle for the win at the Malaysian Grand Prix and saw him come home in seventh, his skills in wet or dry conditions means that he should be ready to tackle whatever happens on Sunday despite regularly unpredictable weather at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
Sasaki sees out his last weekend with the team not at his 100%, facing a challenge after sustaining injuries in Malaysia ten days ago. Breaking a bone in his right hand and leaving himself battered and bruised after crashing out of the fight for the top ten at the Sepang International Circuit, he’s undergone extensive rehab back home in Japan in order to be as well-prepared as possible for his final outing with PETRONAS Sprinta Racing.
The Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana sees out the 2019 Moto3 season this weekend, with track action getting underway at 0900 local time (1600 Malaysian time) on Friday 15th November and the 23-lap race on Sunday 17th November.
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“It’s incredible to think that we’re already at the last race of the year. Looking back, we’ve had a really strong season and we’ve been able to secure top five in the championship now. Going into the last round of the season at Valencia, we’re heading to a track where I have great memories with a podium finish last season. My target will be to be on the podium again if we want to have a chance to be top three in the championship, so we’ll go in giving everything we have and looking to finish off the year as strongly as possible.”
“I’ve been to see the doctors, and OK my hand is broken - but they say it’s not impossible to race in Valencia. I’ll work hard to recover as much as possible before then, and I already started back training early last week. I don’t think I’ll be 100%, but I’ll be as ready as possible so that I can enjoy my last race with PETRONAS Sprinta Racing. I’ve learned a lot and we’ve got closer and closer to fighting at the front over the past three years, and although this hasn’t been an easy season we’ve always had a lot of fun together. There’ll be a lot of emotions on Sunday, but that’s a part of racing and I’m concentrating on being as fit as possible so that we can go out on a high. If we can fight for the podium like we’ve been able to in the last few races, it would be an amazing leaving present to the team.”
Circuit Lap Record (2017)
Fastest Ever Lap (2017)
9 LEFT - 5 RIGHT
23 LAPS - 92.1 KM
Source: SIC Racing Team
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