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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Italian GP

Autodromo del Mugello, 2018



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Petronas Sprinta Racing aiming to make solid progress at Mugello

As round six of the Moto3 World Championship beckons, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki have their sights firmly set on improvement, following a trio of difficult Grand Prix’s.

After qualifying in 25th place and finishing in an impressive 8th position at last year’s Italian Grand Prix, Ayumu Sasaki will be looking to capitalise on his experience gained since his debut year in the Moto3 class.
Feeling determined to make amends for recent results, teammate Adam Norrodin returns to Europe revived and re-energised following a week of training back home in Malaysia.

“After Le Mans the team gave me the opportunity to go home to Malaysia and spend some time with my family and to relax myself after struggling three races in a row. I have been riding quite a lot at home and I feel a lot more focussed on my goals now. It’s been really good to come back to Malaysia and reset my head. Mugello is one of the longest circuits on the calendar; it’s a beautiful place and the atmosphere is always amazing, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s not been my strongest track in the past, but we have good data for it which I know will help us to start in the right way. I will be focussing a lot on myself this weekend; I feel that I am missing some things that I really need to work harder on. I want to come back stronger in Mugello and prove that I can be competitive again.”

“I’m very ready for the race at Mugello. I think there will be a lot of riders in the front group because the track is really long and quite difficult to slipstream. Last year I did quite well at Mugello; I love the track, its so fun, so I’ve been waiting for this race since the start of the year. I’m very happy to be going back to Italy. The last three rounds have been very tough for me but I think things will come better now. I think if I can put everything I have learned recently together, we can do very well. The bike is working very well and my mindset has changed quite a bit recently. I’m a lot better after my crash at Le Mans too, so things are looking up. I hope that I can bring it all together and make a big step this weekend. We are capable of so much more than we have shown recently; the team are working so hard to help me, so I just want to repay them with a good result. I will try my best to finish in a good way.”


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SIC Racing Team motivated for Mugello

Following a successful debut into the SIC Racing Team, Niki Tuuli is ready and raring to get back on track at the Autodromo del Mugello this weekend.

The Finnish newcomer to Moto2 made an impressive first impression last time out in Le Mans, showing consistent improvement throughout the weekend and just missing out on a top twenty finish in his first ever race within the tough intermediate class.

With one race under his belt, Tuuli is positive that he can take what he learned in France to make another step closer towards the top fifteen.

Situated in the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, the Gran Premio d’Italia is one of the most popular events of the season. At 5.2km long it is also one of the longest tracks on the calendar, consisting of six left-hand and nine-right hand corners. The technical layout combines a mixture of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber corners, challenging both the riders and their engineers.

#66 Niki Tuuli
“I have been training a lot since Le Mans because the races in Moto2 are a lot longer than what I’m used to in Supersport, so it’s physically harder. However, I have been jogging, cycling and riding Supermotard, so I do feel more prepared going into this next race. Mugello will be another new track for me, so I have been watching last years races there a lot. I wanted to try and at least visually learn the track, so I know what to expect. For me its always been quite easy to learn new tracks but of course to do it on a new bike and be fast is quite challenging -this is one goal for the weekend; I want to learn it quickly and get up to speed quicker. My main aim is to make consistent progress; to be better again and keep improving –every time I go out on the track I want to be better in every area that I can. I want to be much closer to the top than what I did in Le Mans. I feel positive because at least now I know a little bit more about the bike and what its going to be like, so I’m really looking forward to this second race. I can’t wait to see the team again and get to work!”


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Niki Tuuli makes positive debut with SIC Racing Team at Le Mans

Making his first ever appearance in the Moto2 World Championship, SIC Racing Team rider Niki Tuuli made a solid first impression within the intermediate class, as he fought his way through to a respectable 22nd place.

Despite being faced with the enormous challenge of a new team, new bike, new tyres and a track he’d never been too, Niki Tuuli impressed with his ability to take on the task at hand.

Working hard throughout the weekend, the Finnish rider adapted well to his new environment, showing consistent improvement on board his Kalex machine, before concluding the weekend just outside of the top twenty.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“This was the first time for Niki to ever be on a Moto2 bike and also the first time in Le Mans, first time meeting the team, first time on Dunlop tyres, so many things different and for sure the difference between a Supersport bike to a Moto2 bike is huge. I think throughout the weekend he has done a very good job because he has been progressing every session; only qualifying was a bit disappointing – he would have liked to do better. In the race he did very well; he made a good start and was fighting with other riders. He fought his way through the field and in these conditions, because it was hot the tyres were losing grip very quickly, so he had to adapt himself for that. To finish 48 seconds off the front in the first race, is a good start. We look forward to continuing with Niki; we can see all the potential in him and know that he will progress throughout the next coming races.”

#66 NIKI TUULI – P22
“I was really nervous before the race because the qualifying wasn’t so good and my riding didn’t feel so relaxed and comfortable. In the race I made quite a good start, even though I’d only practiced it a couple of times. The first two laps went well and then after that I just tried to ride without making any mistakes. I’m pleased that I only made one mistake, on the third last lap, which is when Kent got past me. It was quite a good race and every lap time was similar but I need to learn how to be much faster. Anyway, this is just my first race and everything is new; the bike, the tyres, the track, so I know the more experience I get on this bike and the more I learn, the better I can do. The bike is working really well, I just need to improve my own riding then we can make another step. I’m just really happy to have this opportunity. I’m so happy to be here with this team, its incredible!”


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Petronas Sprinta Racing Ayumu Sasaki fights through the field in France

Starting from the eighth row, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Ayumu Sasaki fought his way through the field, to conclude today’s French Grand Prix in a respectable 16th place.

Despite riding with an injury following a high-side in Free Practice One, the Japanese rider put aside a difficult qualifying that saw him start from 24th place, to battle his way through from the back of the grid and into the fight for the points.

Teammate Adam Norrodin experienced a bitter end to an already tough weekend for the Malaysian. After qualifying in 26th place, Norrodin continued to struggle to find his rhythm around the French circuit leaving him unable to make any headway on his position. With one lap to go Norrodin collided with another rider, crashing out just before the chequered flag.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We had a very difficult qualifying yesterday with both riders, so of course a very difficult race today. Warm Up was pretty good and both Adam and Ayumu were faster than in Qualifying. Starting from the back you have to be really aggressive and really strong, which is something we are missing at the moment. Ayumu did quite a decent race; he made his way through to the second group fighting for eleventh position. He was there but he struggled to win his battle; it’s a shame because in the end we weren’t far off from scoring quite good points here. With Adam its been a very difficult weekend from the start and now we have to really check what’s going on because we are not performing as we should with him. We need to have a big discussion and look at what we can do to improve the results. “

“I really feel disappointed. Qualifying yesterday was not very good and also the crash didn’t help but this is not an excuse for me – I should have done better this weekend. My start in the race was not that good either and this is normally a strong point for me. I had a few fights with Lopez but I wasn’t strong enough and I didn’t have the pace to come back to the group ahead. I ended up with just one other rider at the back. In the final lap I tried to overtake him into the last corner but I think we touched and I lost the rear tyre. I’m so sorry to my team. I should be so much stronger than this. Now I need to know figure out what I need to do to improve myself.”

“Today’s warm up was really good and I tried to make a pace for the race. My foot didn’t have as much pain as it did on Friday and Saturday and my lap time was already better than in qualifying, so I felt confident going into the race. At the start of the race I tried really hard to get up to the front as much as possible, but after the first lap the front group was gone and the second group was around four seconds in front of me. I focussed on this; I found my rhythm and worked my way up to them. My lap times were good and I was almost one second faster than in qualifying. It’s a shame that I made a mistake in qualifying because if I had started from a better position I could have finished a lot higher up today. Our average lap time today was similar to the top group, so we are not losing too much in terms of consistency during the race, so really I have to improve my qualifying. The bike was working really well today too, so thanks to my team for this and sorry for my result. I now need to go away and get fully recovered so that I can push hard and fight in the points at Mugello.”


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