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.”
#7 ADAM NORRODIN – P21
“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.”
#71 AYUMU SASAKI – P19
“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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