Home race beckons for Sasaki as PETRONAS Sprinta Racing heads east2019-10-17 18:13
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 riders Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee are going into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Japan feeling confident they can continue to build on their potential from recent races at the first of Grand Prix racing’s three back-to-back races in Asia and Australia. A home race for Sasaki as the series heads to the Twin Ring Motegi, it’s a track that both riders are looking forward to tackling, thanks to strong results for both of them there in the past.
Last year, Sasaki enjoyed one of his best results at Motegi, finishing the race inside the top ten in front of his home crowd at a track he loves. Showing strong pace during recent rounds of the championship and scoring points in four of the six races since the series’ summer break, he’ll be looking to build on that in Sunday’s race by once again getting stuck into the fight for the top six.
McPhee goes into the weekend with a point to prove after being taken out off the podium battle last time out in Thailand by another rider - but is focusing on the positives as the series heads to a track he loves. Somewhere where he’s performed well in the past, his consistent appearances inside the podium battle of late means he’s confident that he can once again fight for the win when the lights go out.
McPhee and Sasaki will return to Moto3 action at the Grand Prix of Japan on 20th October, with practice getting underway at the Twin Ring Motegi on 18th October at 0900 local time (0800 Malaysian time).
“Motegi is one of those circuits that I’m really excited to ride at, because as far back as 2015 I had one of my first ever front row starts there and I was fighting for the podium. I’ve got a lot more experience now, and I’m feeling great going into the weekend. It’s a track where I’ve always been at the front and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got a busy three weeks coming up, but I’m going in strong and the team are working really well. The Japanese fans are some of the most friendly in the world and it’s a home race for Honda, so it would be nice to return the favour to them with a good result after all the support they’ve given us.”
“Being in Japan is a motivation for me, and I still enjoy it a lot because it’s nice having all my friends and family there to watch me. It’s my home race, but for me that doesn’t make too much of a difference to how I prepare for the weekend on track. The important thing will be to focus on the race. We’ve been close to the podium recently, but not close enough! My goal is still to give the team a present before the end of the season and finish on the podium, and that’ll be the target again at Motegi. We were fighting in the front group last year and finished ninth, so hopefully I can improve by eight positions this year!”
Source: SIC Racing Team
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