Norrodin and Sasaki back in the points at Sachsenring

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin concluded the first half of the season back in the points today, crossing the line at the German Grand Prix in 10th [Ayumu] and 11th [Adam] place.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“This weekend has been better for both riders. They have listened to our advice and made some good progress during sessions. They have worked hard riding on their own more and that’s one of the most important things for making a good race; It has shown in todays race. It was a very hard fight for everyone with battles throughout, so I’m happy that they could stay in the top and not so far off from the leaders. For both Adam and Ayumu I am pleased that they have taken these positions going into the summer break. It proves that when they work hard during the practice sessions, this is the reward. We have to keep working like this after the summer break and also work on improving other points, in particular when it comes to fighting in the race. Thanks to everyone for their hard work. Now we have a couple of weeks break to rejuvenate, before we come back even stronger in Brno!”

“The race today was tough; from the very start until the end we were all fighting in a big group. It was so difficult to pull away. In the beginning I was pushing hard when one rider pushed me wide and I lost so many positions; I think I came back in 20th place. It took a lot for me to battle back through the field and regain the positions I lost. Finally we finished the race in 11th place, so I’m happy for this. To take some more points is very important for us. In the race I also had a problem with my knee; I have torn my ECL and as the race progressed I really started to struggle. Now I have to go away and regain my strength during the summer break. I’m pleased to finish the first half of the season with this result today but I want to do better in the second half of the season.”

“Overall we have had a good weekend here in Germany. During the practices we were able to set up the bike really well and I felt good in the qualifying too. Throughout the race I had a good feeling with the used tyre and I could maintain my pace. We fought a lot the whole way through but around the last six laps a rider crashed in front of me and I lost contact with the front group. I tried to catch them again and on the last lap I had nearly closed the gap to eighth place, but it just wasn’t enough before the chequered flag. I think we could have done better today but at the same time I am happy to come back into the points and take a top ten finish. We have to keep working like this now; stay focused during the break and come back in strong form for Brno.”


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Tuuli retires from the German GP

Following the injury’s sustained to Niki Tuuli’s left hand in Assen, the Moto2 PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider has had to retire from this weekends German Grand Prix.

Just twelve days after having part of his left finger amputated, Niki Tuuli courageously returned to action on board his Kalex machinery this morning. Despite his best efforts, the determined Finn struggled to ride through the pain. After attempting again to find his pace in Free Practice Two, a unanimous decision was made by both the rider and team to retire Tuuli from the remainder of the weekend.

#66 Niki Tuuli
“I felt good coming to Sachsenring because just normally without the leathers, my hand is working quite okay. Unfortunately, as soon as I put the glove on my hand it was so painful, so I couldn’t use the clutch at all. There are a lot of corners on the left here and I found this really difficult because I couldn’t hold my hand on the handlebar like I needed too. Sadly it’s just too difficult to ride now. I’m really disappointed because I wanted so badly to ride here. I feel like I’ve took a step back because now is my time to really do a good job but instead I have to focus on recovering in time for Brno. There will be a two week break after this GP, so I hope that this time will allow me to be fully ready to return for the start of the second half of the season. I’m very sorry to the team and I want to say a big thank you to them for their support; Also to Alpinestars for making a special glove for me. I’m sorry to everyone that I won’t be riding this weekend.”

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German GP

Sachsenring Circuit, 2018



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German GP

Sachsenring Circuit, 2018



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Norrodin and Sasaki focused on improving at Sachsenring

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki will contest the German Grand Prix this weekend, aiming to finish the first half of the season on a high.

Returning to the German circuit that saw the duo finish in 13th [Adam] and 17th [Ayumu] place in 2017, Norrodin and Sasaki will be looking to put their challenging first half of the year behind them with a positive result this weekend.

“I’ve spent the last week working and training with my crew chief in France and I feel a lot better prepared for the weekend ahead. We have been able to discuss many things and this has helped me to understand the mistakes that I have been making, how I can learn from them and what I can do to move forward. After the last race in Assen I was so disappointed, so I must do better at Sachsenring.
I like this track in Germany; its’ quite complicated and normally this wouldn’t compliment my style so much, but last year our pace was quite good and we finished the race 13th, so I feel confident that I can do better this time. We have a good strategy for this weekend, so I’m looking forward to getting there. I have everything I need to make a good result; I just need to stay focussed and work hard.”

“I’m really excited for the German Grand Prix. Assen was a tough weekend for us but I am learning more and more every time. I understand now the importance of going into a race weekend with the right mentality from the very first session. This has certainly been affecting our progress but I have learned this the hard way and now I know that I must make a change. Moving forward I know what the issue is that has caused me to have difficult last four races, so I just need to stop talking about it and do it! Right now, my focus is completely on starting well and making a good FP1, which I can build on from there. I like the Sachsenring track, so I really hope to do well at this last race before the summer break.”


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Tuuli set for Sachsenring comeback

Niki Tuuli returns to action this weekend at the German Grand Prix, following his accident in Assen, just over one week ago.

Crashing during Qualifying at the Dutch GP, the Finnish rider’s hand was caught under his Kalex machinery as he heroically tried to prevent damage to his bike. As a result, Tuuli severely injured his left finger, which later had to be partially amputated.

Unable to take part in the race, Tuuli returned to Finland following his surgery. He has since been receiving medical care in Finland and has been given the all clear from his doctors there to ride.

Tuuli will also have to pass medical clearance from officials at the circuit first on Thursday, but overall the Finn is feeling positive about his return to Moto2 this weekend.

#66 Niki Tuuli
“I’m so happy that my finger has heeled so well, so quickly; I was really worried that I might not be able to ride in Germany. Of course I still have to get the official go-ahead from the track doctors but it’s looking promising. I’m really looking forward to getting back on track on Friday. I’ve been to Sachsenring once before in 2012, so I don’t remember so much about it. I just need to focus on my own riding this weekend and work on finding the right set-up on the bike so that I can be every lap faster; I want to be consistently improving. Being in the points is always my overall target but I guess this time I may have to be a little bit more patient and see how well I can ride with my hand and then go from there. Nevertheless, I feel ready to get back out there and get to work.”


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Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin fighting hard in Holland

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin endured a tough battle in today’s Dutch Grand Prix, concluding proceedings in 19th and 21st place respectively.

During Friday’s afternoon practice both riders were penalised for slow riding during the session, which resulted in a twelve-place grid penalty for Ayumu, that saw him line up in 27th place, whilst teammate Adam was obligated to start from the back of the grid.

Despite facing a difficult task at hand to fight their way back through the field, the PETRONAS Sprinta duo made a solid start off the line. Ayumu Sasaki immediately gained eight positions, launching himself into 18th place at the end of lap one, whilst Adam Norrodin vaulted into 25th.

Sasaki and Norrodin relentlessly battled throughout the twenty-two lap race but were unable to break away from the group and make the fight back into the points.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Its been a very up and down weekend for us. Our qualifying was quite good but because both of our riders received grid penalties from FP2, we had to start from the back of the grid. As we know with our riders, it is difficult for them to ride on their own and catch other riders, which is why they struggle to fight their way to the front, so it was very tough for them today. Their starts were good but after that it was difficult for them to go forward, which meant that they found themselves stuck around 20th place. It’s disappointing. We have to speak with them both now and see what else we can do to try and help them with this. I think both riders really need to pick up their game and understand the importance of making the effort from the very start of the weekend; pushing hard in every session. This is something we have been trying to help them with for a while now and a topic that we discuss regularly with them. I hope that they can really take this in and improve their performance at the next race.”

“I pushed a lot at the very start of the race and was able to gain four or five positions within the first lap. I was making some progress but I was fighting the whole time, so it was hard to break away from the group. One rider pushed me wide and that’s when I lost quite a few positions. This broke my rhythm and I started to lose pace. From here I struggled to gain back the places that I lost. My mistake during Friday’s practice, that resulted in a grid penalty, really cost us a lot this weekend; we shouldn’t have had to start today’s race from the back of the grid. I’m very sorry to my team. This was my fault. I have learned a lot this weekend and I will not make this mistake again! I promise I will focus more and push harder.”

“I made an unnecessary mistake in Free Practice two and I really want to say sorry again to the team for the penalty I received because we should not have had to start so far back today. I went into the race with our set-up from qualifying. I was able to make a good start and I passed eight riders in the first lap. The second lap was okay too but then around three or four laps into the race I found myself in a big group fighting with two or three riders at a time. The first and second group ahead broke away; I knew that I had to go too if I was to stand any chance of points but with the two big straights here and fighting all the time, I couldn’t do it. I was able to finish at the front of my group but this isn’t enough. I’m disappointed because if I hadn’t of received the penalty we would have started from 16th place and I know we would have had a much better chance to do well. I will try now to change my mentality and come back more focused and stronger for Germany.”


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Dutch GP

TT Circuit Assen, 2018



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Dutch GP

TT Circuit Assen, 2018



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PETRONAS Sprinta Racing aiming high in Assen

Round eight of the Moto3 World Championship sees the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Team head to the legendary TT Circuit Assen, in the Netherlands.

Providing some of the best spectator viewing from its high grass banks and grandstands, the Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing is famous for its fast and flowing characteristics and electrical atmosphere that regularly attracts more than 100,000 fans.

Looking to impress at the historic circuit, Adam Norrodin heads to Assen with renewed confidence and motivation. After a string of bad luck in both Le Mans and Mugello, Norrodin returned to form in Catalunya as he battled his way back into the points. Feeling rejuvenated, the Malaysian rider is confident he can continue to improve his performance at this weekends Dutch GP.

Following his second consecutive top four qualifying result and a consistently competitive pace last time out in Barcelona, Ayumu Sasaki is determined to capitalise on his positive momentum.
Always aiming high, the 17-year-old Japanese rider is ready to battle with the leaders once again.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Assen; after my confidence came back in Italy and also after making some good progress in Catalunya, I feel positive that I can continue to improve and do well at Assen. There are some really fast corners at Assen, which I really like. This is what suits my style a lot. For this race I will really be focussing on myself to ride well and improve my results. Compared to last year the bike is working very well, so I need to take a step within myself to be more competitive and consistent. This is my target for the weekend. We have the capability that’s for sure. I just need to keep the focus and mentality to always be in the points and fighting in the front group.”

“I am very excited for this next race at Assen. It was unfortunate that we crashed out at Catalunya because we had the pace all weekend to fight at the front. Also for the last two races in a row, we have qualified in the top four, so I’m feeling really confident and motivated going to Assen. I like the track, as I rode there also in the Rookies Cup, so I have a bit more experience there than some of the others. I will try to focus again now and do what I must do to be strong from the start of the weekend. I’ve had some tough races recently and it was very disappointing to miss out on my chance to fix this in Barcelona, so now I want even more to make a good result. I hope to have a good pace all weekend, so I can fight to the end of the race on Sunday.”


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Tuuli returns to familiar terrain as SIC Racing Team head to Assen

Since his debut appearance with the team at Le Mans, Niki Tuuli will for the first time race on familiar terrain this weekend at the Dutch GP.

Having raced at the prestigious TT Circuit Assen during his time in the World Supersport Championship, the Finnish Moto2 rookie is eager to use his previous experience around the historic track to his advantage, as he targets the points on board his Kalex Moto2 machine.

#66 Niki Tuuli
“I’m feeling really good about going to Assen. After returning home for one week of work and training, I feel ready for this next GP. I know the track quite well from my experience in World Supersport; on a totally different bike of course but at least this time I don’t have to spend so many laps getting used to a new track. I really like Assen a lot; I’m looking forward to getting out there on the Moto2 bike. I think this weekend, as my speed is coming better, we need to focus on what we can change on the bike to help me to improve more. We started to do this in Barcelona and we have a plan for Assen, so I feel positive that we can make a good step. My aim is to be consistent with my times and have no crashes! I want to get closer to the points and be in the top fifteen if I can; I will push for this but let’s see.”


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SIC Racing Team conclude Catalan Grand Prix

Today’s Catalan Grand Prix saw a premature end for Niki Tuuli, as an unlucky collision on lap one with a fellow rider, saw the Finnish rider unable to continue the twenty-two-lap race.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Niki started really well here in Barcelona on Friday. He’s never been here before and it’s a hard track to learn but he did this very well. FP1 and FP2 were very positive and also Saturday morning. During qualifying Niki struggled quite a bit, which was quite surprising after seeing what he did during the first three practice sessions. This was a real shame for him and us, as we had expected a little more. He had to start on the grid from quite far back today and unfortunately things didn’t get any better for Niki either; on the first lap he collided with another rider and crashed out. It’s such a shame because it would have been really good for him to finish this race and learn more from it. This is what is very valuable right now. Niki has had a few crashes this weekend too, but now we need to put this all behind us and move onto Assen. Finally, he will go to a track that he already knows, so it will be very interesting to see what he can do there.”

“The Warm Up this morning was productive; we were able to find out why I had been having some problems with the front and how to improve my braking, so I went into the race feeling more confident. I made quite a good start and took the first two corners quite easily but then in the third corner I was on a really good line and passed a few guys on the inside but as I entered turn four, some riders came out of the curbs and I had to take my line further in; for this I was going to fast. I managed to stop the bike but Bendsyneyder was quite wide and I clipped his rear tyre. I’m not happy at all for this and I’m sorry to him. I took one rider with me and this is never a good feeling. For me it was also very important to finish the race, so I’m very disappointed that it ended on the first lap. I have learned a lot and I am waiting already for Assen.”


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Norrodin takes points in chaotic Catalan Grand Prix

Today’s action packed Moto3 race saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Adam Norrodin battle his way from 21st place on the grid, into a point scoring 13th position.

Starting from the second row, teammate Ayumu Sasaki pushed hard to stay with the leading group but with six laps to go, misfortune struck the Japanese rider as he lost the rear of his #71 machine, seeing him crash out of 11th place.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It’s been a pretty good weekend up until the race today; Ayumu has been strong all weekend; showed good pace from the start and again had a good qualifying. It was a pretty tough race for him though. Ayumu didn’t have the best start but he made it into the group fighting for first. He was pushing to stay with them, but then he crashed and had to retire. It’s a shame because when we saw how the race turned out in the end, he could have achieved a very good position here today. On the other hand we would have also liked to see him fight a little bit more within his group, rather than staying back and waiting until the end. Adam has struggled a lot this weekend, with three crashes in total. It was very difficult for him to have any confidence going into the race today, so to finish with three points and 13th place, I think is a good reward considering how hard he has found it here. Now we have to take the positives with us to Assen; we know both riders have the pace to be up at the front and they’re not far off; we just need some luck on our side and a bit more fight.”

“This morning in warm up I didn’t feel so good; after the crash yesterday I wasn’t so focussed and from the beginning of the day I struggled to get back into my rhythm here. I still felt positive that I could make a good race, so when the lights went out I pushed really hard to make a good start. I immediately gained some positions and was feeling good on the bike, but as soon as the tyres dropped, everything changed. From this point I couldn’t manage myself; I lost some confidence. I’m not really that happy with this result because I need to do better. I need to try and find that extra something in me to come back strong in Assen.”

“I had a lot of confidence going into the race today. Unfortunately though at the very start I made a bit of a mistake and missed the chance to go with the two leading guys at the front. Around the middle of the race, the leading group came back together and I was in the pack fighting for first position. My tyre was dropping lap by lap but I knew that if I held my position there I would be able to improve within the last four or five laps. I tried to manage my tyres but then suddenly on the left side I crashed. Normally here you see more right-hand side crashes because this is usually the worst side for the tyres. For this reason I was trying to be more careful in the right hand corners and then make up for it in the left-hand ones. As I was pushing the left side I lost the rear and crashed with six laps to go. I’m very disappointed because in the end I feel that I could have done better. Overall, we have improved a lot this weekend, so I’m already looking forward to going to Assen.”


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Catalan GP

Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, 2018



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Catalan GP

Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, 2018


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Petronas Sprinta Racing motivated for Montmelo

Following his first ever front row start in Moto3 last time out at Mugello, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Ayumu Sasaki is eager to make his way up the top end of the time-sheets once again.
As a personal favourite of the Japanese rider, Sasaki hopes to take full advantage of his love for the Spanish circuit and continue his progress with another strong performance this weekend.

Making a significant step at Mugello on board his #7 Honda, teammate Adam Norrodin heads to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya determined to put aside his recent stint of race day misfortune, with a point scoring finish.

Situated in Montmeló, the prestigious Catalan circuit has recently been modified in the final sector and resurfaced too but remains one of the most favored among both riders and fans.

“We came back strong in Italy, it was just unfortunate that luck wasn’t on our side for the race. Nevertheless I have a lot more confidence going to Barcelona now. I think I can make a good step this weekend. Of course I want to make a good result and get back into the points; I need to catch up fast. My target is the first group, minimum top ten. I have to push myself more and really focus on being up at the top end of the time sheets throughout the sessions. I hear that the changes to the asphalt are very good; I remember last year it was very bumpy, so I’m looking forward to riding on the new surface. The last sector has also been changed a little, so for me, I’m happy to hear with what they have done and looking forward to getting the weekend started.”

“After Mugello I think the bike is pretty good. We also had a test there on Monday after the GP and I improved some more, so we are definitely going in the right direction. Catalunya is another one of the tracks that I like a lot; however, it will be a little bit different this year. The track layout is slightly different to last year and now has new asphalt too, so we will see how it is on Friday. I have to really focus from first practice and try to get used to the track again. I also need to concentrate a lot more on riding alone again. After Mugello, I feel a lot more confident about doing this, so I have to carry this momentum on. Starting the last race from the front row has really motivated me to achieve this again; I am hungry for more. I know I can do it now, I just have to keep working hard and never stop pushing.”


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SIC Racing Team looking to continue positive momentum in Barcelona

Making significant improvement in Mugello last time out, SIC Racing Team rider Niki Tuuli closed the gap to the top by an impressive fifteen seconds.

Looking to continue his progress at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, the Finnish newcomer will be aiming to battle his way into the top twenty at the Spanish circuit.

#66 Niki Tuuli
“Now that the testing is done at Mugello, I am really happy. This was the first time that we got to test new parts and it went really well. We found a better way to improve my riding too and also the test allowed me to understand where I was going wrong during the GP weekend. My riding is coming much better and so we have also been able to improve the bike more too. During the test we improved the lap times from the race weekend, even though track conditions were not so good, so I’m pleased with this. I now go to Barcelona a lot more confident, even though it is another new track for me. At the weekend I went to watch the CEV race at Catalunya and I also cycled some laps on the Saturday, so this helped me to at least get an idea of the layout. I have also been watching a lot of videos of previous races there, so I hope that when we start on Friday, this will all help me to learn the track quicker and improve my rhythm. We were much closer to the top at Mugello but this is another weekend, so we must take another step. I think we can do a good job, we just need to keep the momentum going and keep working hard to improve. I want to get into the points; this is always going to be my target.”


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Tuuli Battles for the points at Mugello

In only his second Moto2 race of the year, SIC Racing Team rider Niki Tuuli, showed outstanding improvement as he battled for the points in today’s Italian Grand Prix.

Just missing out on the fight for fourteenth, Niki crossed the line in a respectable 16th place.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Niki did a very good race here today. He has closed the gap to the front a lot since Le Mans and in only his second race with the team, is very good. He’s getting better and better and we can see that he is really taking on board everything we tell him and what we change on the bike; he is improving his times every session. Today he had a few good fights with the riders around him battling for the points; this was great to see. We were very close to the points; he was fighting for fourteenth place. That would have been great but still we are very satisfied with Niki’s performance. The gap to the front is a lot better. We will keep working. Tomorrow we have a test here with him, so for Barcelona, hopefully we can take another step forward.”

#66 NIKI TUULI – P17

“I’m really happy with what we did in the race today. This morning I struggled a little bit during the Warm Up because for me its still really difficult to find the smooth riding; my style is a little bit too aggressive in the wrong places. The best thing about it, is that I know where I need to improve so that we can make progress. In the race the first five to six laps were quite difficult whilst I found my rhythm, but after that I was able to find my pace, relax and start to pass people. The points were really close today and this is just my second race, so I’m happy about this. We improved our gap to the front in the race by more than fifteen seconds, compared to Le Mans, so it’s been a good end to the weekend. Of course we need to be closer, but it takes time. We can see we are making progress and going in the right direction, so this is the main thing. It was great to be in the fight for the points today and I had some good battles with the other riders for this. I’m so happy to be here and how everything is going; this is my dream. I just want to keep improving!”


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Petronas Sprinta Racing conclude Italian Grand Prix

Today’s Italian Grand Prix saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin conclude the weekend with a bitter end, despite looking set to make it their best Grand Prix of the year.

Heroically qualifying on the front row after suffering a big crash during Saturdays Free Practice three, seventeen-year-old Sasaki endured a challenging 20 lap race. The Japanese rider relentlessly pushed through increased pain in his foot and a deteriorating engine performance, to cross the line in 16th place, just missing out on the points.

Making a big step during the Italian Grand Prix weekend, teammate Adam Norrodin made a solid start from eighth place on the grid. Immediately launching himself into six position, Norrodin looked in strong form, when a small mistake brought a premature end to the Malaysian’s race, crashing out on the third lap.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We’ve made very good progress this weekend from the last three rounds; both riders have improved their practice and qualifying. We could see that both Adam and Ayumu had a strong race pace here, so we were confident going into todays GP. With Ayumu starting from the front row, he had a great opportunity to go with the front group. He made a good start and was immediately fighting with the top five. Unfortunately the top three riders broke away and he got swallowed up by the group behind him; from that point we knew it would be difficult for him, because when you have to fight so much in a group, with so many riders, you have to be 100% fit to be able to pass and stay in the front. It was very hard for Ayumu to do this today, especially with his injury; It was not easy for him. It’s a shame he couldn’t finish with some points. For Adam, he also made a very good step this weekend and we are very happy for that. He was very upset after the qualifying because he felt that he could have done more. For the race he made a great start from eighth place and was immediately in the second group with Ayumu. On lap three he had a very big high-side and his race was over. He was pushing hard and he said he felt good; when you are on the limit like that, these things can happen, its just unfortunate. Nevertheless this weekend has been a boost for him and his confidence is back, so we just have to keep working and come back fighting in Barcelona.”

“I was really motivated for this race today; I made a good start from 8th place and felt strong. I was up to 6th place on the third lap but then going into the third corner, Canet passed me so tightly; I had to pick my bike up a little to try and save myself, but then as soon as I went to get some lean angle again, the bike made a massive high-side. I am so disappointed because I have felt so confident this weekend and was expecting a really good result here. It’s such a shame because we had the pace and the opportunity to get some really good points today. I’m sorry that I could not do this for my team. I will try even harder at the next race.”

“When I woke up this morning I had a little bit more pain in my foot because I hadn’t had any pain killers during the night. We went out and I tried to make some laps to check the bike, but unfortunately in the first corner when I had to shift down five gears I struggled with my foot and I ended up going straight on into the gravel; we then couldn’t finish the warm up. At that moment I knew the race was going to be difficult. The team have been working so hard and the bike has been working really well, so I just wanted to make a good race for them. I made a good start to the race and I tried to follow the first three riders but unfortunately I made a big mistake in turn two which caused me to loose the leaders. – I dropped back into the second group. For the first ten laps I had a good feeling on the bike and could pass many riders in the braking. I tried to stay with the top four of my group. The race was going well until the half-way point when my foot started to hurt more. I also started to notice that my engine performance was declining, and I could no longer hold my position on the straight. Six riders would pass me, then I would manage to pass maybe three back in the corners, but each lap I would have the same problem, so I really struggled to progress through the pack, so kept dropping further back. On the last lap I tried so hard to get back into the points; I managed to pass three riders going into the last corner but then in the drag to the line I was pushed back to 16th. I’m really disappointed because we had such a good opportunity to do well here starting from the front row. Anyway now we have to go away and see what happened with the bike. It was still a good experience to start from the front row, so I’m happy for this. I have gained a lot more confidence this weekend. I will try again in Barcelona.”


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Italian GP

Autodromo del Mugello, 2018



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