NORRODIN FIGHTS AT THE FRONT AS SASAKI BATTLES BACK INTO THE POINTS AT ASSEN

Assen, Netherlands – Sunday 25th June

Circuit: TT Circuit Assen
Circuit Length: 4.5 km

The Dutch Grand Prix saw a bitter sweet ending for the SIC Racing Team with Ayumu Sasaki claiming the last point scoring position in 15th, as Adam Norrodin crashed out on the final lap.
Making a blistering start off the line, Adam Norrodin launched himself up into an impressive fifth place. Looking in strong form the 19-year-old relentlessly battled hard within the leading group, dicing inside the top ten throughout the 22 lap race. Norrodin fearlessly fought back on the final lap, working his way up into sixth position, but forced wide with just two corners to go, disaster struck as the Malaysian lost the front of his #7 machine, crashing out from the race.
Ayumu Sasaki had a tough task at hand starting from 22nd place on the grid but determined to make amends, the Moto3 rookie worked hard to move up through the field and battle his way back into the points.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Adam made a great race today; potentially the best in his career so far. He was fighting all the way through. He made a great start and passed many riders on the first lap and was able to stay up there the whole race. He was in the top ten fighting for the podium and it was great to see. Today was not an easy race by any means; conditions were very tricky at the start but he stayed calm and rode incredibly well. In the last lap he was right up there in sixth position, but then he was pushed wide by Martin and he lost the front. It’s very unfortunate but this is racing; this is what can happen when you are fighting at the top. Adam showed today that he is more than capable of going with the leaders when he has a good starting position and this is very important. Despite the end result we are very happy with Adam’s performance and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do in Germany next week.
With Ayumu, he worked hard starting from twenty second and fought all the way through to finish in the points. We know he was capable of a better pace than he showed today, so he definitely had the capacity to do better; maybe twelfth or thirteenth. Nevertheless he built up his rhythm and claimed 15th, so let’s see what we can do next week. I’m confident that he will come back fighting harder.”

#7 Adam Norrodin DNF

“In the first two laps I was trying so hard to break away with the first group. We were fighting a lot but I knew I had nothing to lose. I felt confident and I knew I could fight with them. I battled all the race. On the last lap I was pushing really hard because I could see the front three pulling away. Just before the second last corner I was thinking to stay in my position but in my mind I always want more; I was pushing out of my limit, which if I hadn’t I would probably have scored good points today but this is racing; you don’t do it to just settle for a position unless you are first! Going into the penultimate corner it was very tight with the rider beside me, so I went wide and then lost the front. I’m very disappointed about this because I fought so hard to stay with the group and get a good position. My downfall today is that I wanted more; I wanted to do the best I could but unfortunately this time the risk didn’t pay off. We missed out on points but for me the good thing is that we were always up the front and we showed that we can battle with the best. We will come back fighting in Germany.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki P15

“It was a difficult race starting from 22nd position on the grid. I tried to go with the front group but on the third lap in the last chicane, one rider crashed in front of me, so I had to close the gas to avoid him. We then lost 2.5 seconds to the front group so I just had to focus on building my speed again and working my way past as many riders as possible in the second group. It’s disappointing because we had the potential for more today. I had a good feeling on the bike and I knew I could fight. In the end we finished 15th, so I’m glad that we could at least take one point but I hope to do better next week in Germany.”

NORRODIN PUSHES TO ELEVENTH IN DRAMATIC ASSEN QUALIFYING

Assen, Netherlands – Saturday 24th June

Circuit: TT Circuit Assen
Circuit Length: 4.5 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P11; 2’01.004 – 16 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P22; 2’01.658 – 13 laps
SIC Racing Team rider Adam Norrodin overcame set-up issues and tricky track conditions to achieve an impressive 11th place in today’s Dutch Grand Prix qualifying.

Teammate Ayumu Sasaki also experienced a difficult afternoon at Assen crashing twice in Moto3 QP, before concluding the session in 22nd place for tomorrow’s twenty two lap race.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Yesterday we had a very good day and this morning FP3 was also very positive; both riders did well in the wet. For qualifying conditions were a lot more difficult; it started wet and then began to dry up. Unfortunately Adam and Ayumu lacked in confidence to push hard at the beginning of the session.
Adam did a very good job in the end. He saw on the last lap that his positon was not very good and he acted on this. He knew he had to push for the top fifteen and that’s exactly what he did. Credit to him for today because the bike was not perfect, which we could all see; he took the risk and he was rewarded with 11th place, so we are happy with this.
Ayumu had two crashes in qualifying today. He was on a fast lap the second time he crashed so we know he was pushing hard; it’s a shame for him. We know he is very fast in the dry and it looks as though it will be dry for the race, so this is the main thing. We just need to push and dig deep for tomorrow.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“It was raining heavily this morning, so all of FP3 was wet but overall we had a good session. We made a good lap time at the very beginning and I felt happy with the set-up. In the end we had a small crash but we knew why, so it was okay.
From the very start of qualifying I couldn’t feel any grip and I immediately lost my confidence. On the out lap I almost high-sided, so I knew something wasn’t right. I came back to the box and we made some changes but again I struggled for grip. I made my lap and it was far away from the pace, so I returned to the box again. My crew made a big step with the bike but still it didn’t help; the conditions were just too tricky. This track is something special; conditions can change so quickly here. From what started fully wet, very quickly began to dry and this is what made qualifying incredibly difficult today.
I struggled to push hard the whole session but then when it came down the final lap and I still hadn’t improved, I knew I had to just grit my teeth and take a risk; I had just one chance left and it came down to everything or nothing! I pushed to my limit and the bike was moving around so much; my heart was racing. Another rider crashed just in front of me too, so it was a very difficult lap.
I’m pleased to come away with 11th place. This is the positive from today; now we can focus on tomorrow and making a good race.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“Today was a very difficult qualifying due to the weather conditions. It was wet from the start but we found some good base settings this morning in FP3. In qualifying I tried to focus on finding my rhythm but eight laps in I crashed. My mechanics fixed my bike really quickly and got me back out for the last eight minutes. On the second lap I could see on my board that I had improved by one second in sector one and two, so I knew I had to push because I was still in twentieth place. With my ideal time today I would have been twelfth but unfortunately I crashed again and we finished 22nd; I’m sorry to my team for this. Tomorrow it looks as though the weather will be better so I am trying not to dwell too much on our qualifying and instead focus now on the race. I’m very confident with my dry set-up; I know I can fight for a good position if the rain stays away, so we will see. I want to improve on my starting position and finish in the top ten tomorrow.”

SOLID START FOR NORRODIN AND SASAKI ON DAY ONE AT ASSEN

Assen, Netherlands – Friday 23rd June

Circuit: TT Circuit Assen
Circuit Length: 4.5 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P24; 1’44.707 – 17 laps
FP2: P12; 1’43.533 –17 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P15; 1’44.242 – 18 laps
FP2: P7; 1’43.023 – 19 laps

Kicking off the Dutch Grand Prix with a solid start to proceedings, the SIC Racing Team riders concluded a positive first day on track in 7th [Ayumu] and 13th [Adam] place.

Following a productive two day test in Aragon last week, both Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki took to the 4.5km Dutch Circuit with renewed motivation and determination.

Ayumu Sasaki was the first of the duo to exhibit his progress made, as he immediately launched himself up the timesheets. Continuing to improve throughout the day, the Moto3 rookie worked hard to improve his pace amongst the field.

Adam Norrodin also showed strong form from the off as he relentlessly pushed for a top spot. Feeling more confident and comfortable on board his #7 Honda machine, the 19-year-old Malaysian continued to better his time alone, reducing it by over second in the afternoon’s practice.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“After the test in Aragon I really have a lot more confidence in the bike. We changed a lot and I feel really motivated now. In FP1 the beginning went very well but in the second half of the session when I went on new tyres, I made some mistakes; we knew we could do better though. I was really happy with the set-up and I knew I could push more, so we didn’t change anything going into FP2. In the afternoon we found our rhythm straight away and began to improve again, even with the used tyre. For the last run we put in the medium tyre. I was doing my lap times alone and it felt good. I wanted to push on my own to know where I was. It went well and we finished FP2 in 12th place [13th in the combined times]. We know we can improve more still, so overall I’m happy with today. They say it will rain tomorrow but for me it doesn’t matter. I have a lot of confidence with the bike and I’m very happy with the set-up that we have, so whether it’s dry or wet, I know I can push hard; we need to make a good qualifying this weekend!”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“I feel very good. Last week we had a two-day test in Aragon and we worked on a lot, so I had a good feeling from the start of FP1 today. I like this track and I know it well, so I could push from the beginning. We finished 15th in first practice but this was because I got held up on track, so I knew we could have done even better, so I was happy. In second practice we found a good tow and made a much better lap time. I think today has been a very positive start for the weekend. Now I have to keep my head down and continue like this tomorrow. I want to be in the top ten for qualifying.”

SIC RACING TEAM AIMING HIGH AT ASSEN

Assen, Netherlands – Monday 19th June

Circuit: TT Circuit Assen
Circuit Length: 4.5 km

SIC Racing Team head to Holland ready and raring to up their game at the legendary TT Circuit Assen.

Returning from a positive two-day test at Aragon last week, riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki are eager to conclude the first half of the Moto3 season on a high.
With just two races left before the summer break, Norrodin and Sasaki are determined to convert their progress into points at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Steeped in history Assen has played host to the Motorcycle World Championship since it first opened in 1949. Renowned for its electric atmosphere that regularly attracts more than 100,000 fans, the Dutch circuit provides some of the best spectator viewing from its high grass banks and grandstands that surround the fast and flowing track.

#7 Adam Norrodin
“Last week we had a really good two-day test at Aragon. It gave us a great opportunity to try some new things and I think this will help us at Assen.
Last year it was quite a difficult weekend for us because of the mixed weather conditions but my feeling to go there now is very good. I feel a lot more confident. The track is great to ride; there is a good mix of fast and tight corners.
For me it is very important to aim for the points again this weekend as we’ve missed a lot recently. The first thing we need to do to achieve this is improve our qualifying. Saturday will be my main focus for Assen. I know if I’m on the pace we can have a good race but to be competitive I have to qualify higher up the grid.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“After Barcelona GP we went testing at Aragon and it was very good. We were able to find out where we can improve and how to be stronger. I feel very confident about going to Assen and I know the track, so I’m looking forward to this next race.
We have just two more races before the summer break, so for me it’s very important to do well in Assen and Germany the week after. The bike is working very well since Mugello, so we just have to focus on our qualifying. This year we have not qualified well at all, so we have to improve. Starting so far back just makes everything so much harder on Sunday. We are capable of much better results, I just need to give myself the best opportunity to do so by qualifying stronger.”

SIC RACING TEAM FIGHTING FOR POINTS IN BARCELONA

Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain – Sunday 11th June

Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.65 km

SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki concluded today’s Catalan Grand Prix just outside the points in 16th [Ayumu] and 18th [Adam] position.
Despite struggling throughout the weekend, Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin made a solid comeback from his 30th place qualification, to claim twelve positions and set his fastest time during the twenty two lap race.
Ayumu Sasaki was elevated to seventeenth place on the grid due to other rider penalties. Aiming for a top ten position, the sixteen year-old-rookie pushed hard from the start but was unable to break free from his group. Entangled in the fight for fifteenth, Sasaki relentlessly diced within the pack before making a solid attack and claiming three places on the last lap.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Ayumu’s race start was not great and we missed out on the first four laps too much with him. The plan was to be aggressive for the first few laps and overtake as many riders as possible; we knew that he could have been fighting for the top ten today because he showed he had the pace but unfortunately it didn’t happen and he was in a group riding for fifteenth position. Mid race until the end he came strong and did lap times similar to the leaders and this shows that he has a lot of potential; again it is the qualifying that has let us down. This is what we have to work on the most.
For Adam it was very tough today because he started from so far back but he made a very good first lap and overtook six riders straight away. After that it was difficult for him to go further because he didn’t have a very good pace on his own. Still he pushed on and fought all the riders around him. In the end Adam came out winning the battle in his group and finishing 18th, which I think is very good considering where he qualified. Unfortunately there’s no points but it shows Adam didn’t give up and he was riding hard. Same for him though, today’s result is down to the qualifying; he must improve this.
We have a two day test in Aragon this next week, so let’s see. We will work on a few things there so it will be good to see if we can find something to help both riders.”

#7 Adam Norrodin P18

“Starting from 30th position I knew I had nothing to lose. We made a good step in warm up and I finished the session in 13th. For the race I just focused on making a strong start and pushing hard during the first couple of laps. I made it up to P23 and I was feeling good on the bike, so I just concentrated on my riding and trying to catch the group ahead; it was difficult to do this because the riders ahead and I had the same pace. I was able to keep my rhythm and on the last lap I won the battle within my group. From 30th to 18th I think is not such a bad result but if the qualifying had been better, for sure we would have had a better result. This weekend was tough but I learned quite a lot in the race so I leave Barcelona with good knowledge for the next race.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki P16

“My start today was pretty bad. In the first lap I couldn’t pass enough riders to follow the front group. This week we made a bad qualifying and I think this is what really let us down. In Assen we have to improve this. We know we have the pace to ride with the leading group but starting from far down the grid makes it very difficult. We will focus on improving this for the next race. The bike was good and it felt similar to Mugello; I know I could have fought in the top ten if I’d made a better start. Every race I am learning and we are making progress, so overall it’s been a positive weekend.”

 

NORRODIN AND SASAKI PREPARE TO BATTLE IN BARCELONA

Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain – Saturday 10th June

Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.65 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P30; 1’55.625 – 12 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P19; 1’54.899 – 12 laps

SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki will line up on rows seven [Ayumu] and ten [Adam] for tomorrows Catalan Grand Prix.

Ayumu Sasaki made a strong start to today’s qualifying, positioning himself within the top five for the first half of the session. With ten minutes to go the Moto3 rookie held onto a solid 11th place and was looking on form for a top ten qualifier but with just one lap left to improve, was unable to better his pace and dropped down the order into 19th position.

Adam Norrodin experienced another tough day at the office as he struggled to put a consistently quick lap together. In the final minutes, with the pressure mounted on the young Malaysians shoulders, Norrodin made two small mistakes, costing him both time and positions.
The SIC Racing Team duo remain focussed and determined to turn the tables in tomorrow’s 22 lap race.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Qualifying was going very well until the final minutes! Ayumu was within the top ten for most of the session, it was only during the last lap that he couldn’t improve, unfortunately many other riders did, and so we ended up in 19th. It’s disappointing because when you are up there for most of the session, you expect to improve further at the end. Nevertheless we have seen we have good pace with Ayumu and the bike is working well and this we have to carry into the race, stay positive and do like we did in Mugello. The aim for Ayumu is simple; make a strong start and run in a good group.
For Adam it was a very difficult qualifying for him. He has struggled here from the start and we really need to work out why we don’t have the pace again. The bike is working but he can’t push as much as he’d like to. He did improve on the last lap but unfortunately his lap time was cancelled as he exceeded the track limit. His previous lap was poor and that’s why he has ended up in a bad position. It’s not going to be easy tomorrow but again it’s the end result that counts. He needs to really think about what he is going to do and be aggressive and work hard in the race.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“My feeling in qualifying was quite good; we made a big change after FP3, which felt a lot better. In the first outing I had already improved my time from practice, so at this point I was confident that I could continue to better my pace throughout the qualifying. Unfortunately in the last outing I made a mistake; I broke too much in the first corner and ran wide. Then as I was improving in sectors three and four during the last lap, I ran wide, so my lap time was cancelled. These mistakes cost us a lot of positions; I’m disappointed and sorry to team for this. Tomorrow will be hard work but I have to try; I have to do better in the race. I came here to score points and that is exactly what I must do. We are race ready.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“We found a good setting in FP3 and for most of the qualifying I was in the top five. The lap times were not great but the position was. The bike was working very well and I felt good. We were P11 with ten minutes to go but I knew that I would have to improve again otherwise other riders would pass me at the end. In the last outing I couldn’t find the right group to ride with and we missed our chance to improve. We qualified 20th but there is one penalty so we will start from 19th tomorrow. Like in Mugello, the bike is strong and I feel ready to fight. I will try to pass as many riders as possible in the first lap then I will push to stay with the front group. Tomorrow is what counts.”

NORRODIN AND SASAKI GET DIALED IN ON DAY ONE AT BARCELONA

Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain – Friday 9th June

Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.7 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P6; 2’07.229 – 14 laps
FP2: P26; 1’56.388 – 14 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P26; 2’11.881 – 4 laps
FP2: P16; 1’55.500 – 13 laps

Following a wet first free practice, SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki rapidly got down to business in FP2, as they focussed on dialling in their Honda NSF250RW machines.
Under the sunny skies of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Moto3 rookie Ayumu Sasaki was immediately on the pace, launching himself into the top five. The sixteen-year-old remained there for the majority of the session. Riding through a small issue with the gearbox on board his #71 Honda, Sasaki continued to push hard claiming a respectable 16th place as day one came to a close.
Adam Norrodin had a tougher start to his Catalan campaign struggling with sectors three and four. Nevertheless the eighteen-year-old Malaysian used his time on track productively as he focussed on finding his rhythm and improving his feeling around the 4.7km circuit.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“First free practice was not great weather; the track was wet in places and drying out in others. It was a little bit tricky but at least we finished in the top six. For FP2 conditions were great so I just focussed on finding my rhythm. Where they made some changes to the track in the last sector, I found it quite hard. I tried to make a better lap time but it wasn’t enough. For tomorrow I need to study where I am losing the time and work on this in FP3. We need to make a big step for qualifying.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“I’m feeling very good after today’s practice. Unfortunately it was wet in FP1, so we only went out for the last twelve minutes. On the first lap I already had a good feeling, so I tried to push more as the track was coming dry. Unfortunately one part was still wet and I made a mistake and had a small crash. The bike felt good in the wet though. In second practice I had the same feeling; the bike felt good but what we tried with the gear box didn’t really work, which made it difficult to ride in sectors three and four. In the first two sectors the bike was strong, and now we know which direction to take for tomorrow, I think today has been a good start to the weekend.”

SIC RACING TEAM LOOKING TO CONTINUE MOMENTUM IN CATALUNYA

Barcelona – Catalunya, Spain – Wednesday 7th June

Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.7 km

SIC Racing Team rider Ayumu Sasaki heads to Catalunya eager to continue the strong form he displayed so prominently in Italy, as he battled for a podium finish.
The Moto3 rookie turned a corner at Mugello exuding confidence and fight on board his #71 Honda machine. After a brief taste of the top spot during last weeks race, the sixteen-year-old is hungry for more.

Teammate Adam Norrodin targets a point scoring comeback after just missing out on increasing his Championship tally at the Italian Grand Prix. The Malaysian rider is determined to turn around his 2017 campaign and fight at the top end once again.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“I’m feeling very motivated for this next race in Barcelona. In Mugello we were in the first group, which was quite a good fight, so I’m feeling confident that we can battle like this again. We know the track has changed slightly so we will just have to get out there on Friday and adapt quickly so we don’t lose too much time; we just need to ride. The target for this weekend is definitely to collect more points. Last week we were really close and I was disappointed to come away without any; for me this is my opportunity to turn things around. I must push and work harder to fight for this.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“I felt really good on the bike in Mugello, so I can’t wait to get started in Catalunya. I like the track a lot because last year in the Spanish Championship I finished on the podium there. I know the track has changed a little this year but I don’t think this will be an issue. I’m feeling very positive; the bike is working so well and I am very motivated to continue our momentum from Italy. We go to Barcelona with strong confidence. Our target is always to be in the front group but for sure I want my first podium in Moto3, this is a big driving force for me.”

Rossi: “I have an account to settle with this track”

It was a more difficult first two visits to the Circuit of the Americas for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in 2013 and 2014, before a podium in 2015 and good confidence ahead of the race last year – until a mistake saw the nine-time World Champion crash out. So as far as the ‘Dcoctor’ is concerned, there’s a score to settle in the USA.

#StatAttack: MotoGP™ saddle up for COTA

– The winners of the last three Moto2™ races in Austin are now competing in the MotoGP class: Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The only other rider to win a Moto2™ race in Austin is Nico Terol, at the first visit to the circuit in 2013.

#AmericasGP: Michelin preview

Piero Taramasso, Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group: “COTA is another very demanding circuit and features many changes of direction, slow turns, fast bends and a long straight. There are also hard braking areas and all this together makes for a big challenge for a tyre to cope with. The riders are always demanding the very best and that is always our target- to be able to give the optimum tyre for all riders and bikes to use. We were unable to produce the very good performance that we had hoped for in 2016, but this season we are going there fully prepared – thanks to data we got after last year’s race – and with a range of rubber that will work well around the Texan circuit. With three fly-away tests and then the three long-haul races to start the season, it has certainly been a busy time, but we are all totally focused and will arrive in Austin fresh and ready for the task-in-hand.”

Marquez: “Austin is one of the best venues on the calendar”

Marc Marquez: “After the Argentina race, I’m happy to go to a track I love as much as Austin, although of course I would have preferred to arrive there in a better position. Anyway, another race weekend is about to start and we’ll give 100% to try to get our first podium this season. I have great memories of Austin, and for me it’s one of the best venues on the race calendar. I like the layout of the track, as it has many different types of sections and corners and lots of elevation changes. I also love the “American” style, with all the fans enjoying the sport and the fun at the track, so let’s get back in action and see how it goes there.”

Zarco confident of good result at COTA

Johann Zarco: “The Circuit of the Americas is impressive and I am confident that I can seal a good result there with my Yamaha. The layout is demanding because there are twenty corners and it’s certainly physical. However, I have a good record in Texas and I have finished on the podium twice in the past two years in Moto2. At the moment, my feeling on the YZR-M1 bike is great and after the 5th place finish in Argentina, I want to stay on this level. Yet, when we start, I will stay relaxed and I will work with the team and on myself because, at this venue, it’s vital to understand the direction that we need to head towards as there are so many corners. If you make one small mistake, it takes almost half a lap to recover, so therefore, it’s more important to work on the rider and to find the perfect line on the asphalt, rather than focusing too much on finding the ideal setup. Nevertheless, I am keen to race in America, and I will go there with a high level of motivation because, at the moment, my feeling is wonderful.”

Bautista looking to repeat top five performance in Texas

Alvaro Bautista: “We are looking forward to arriving in Austin after a good weekend in Argentina, but this is a quite different track with different demands. We will try to work as well as possible to find the same feeling as Argentina and head into the race with a good pace and a good set-up so that we can fight for a top five finish again. Austin has some hard braking and acceleration zones as well as some mixed sections with a variety of direction changes. It will be tricky to find a set-up there because when you get the bike working well in one sector it tends to be compromised in another. We will give our best as always and hopefully we can have the same outcome as the last race.”

#StatAttack: Texas and Moto2™

– Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crossed the line in second for the first time of his Moto2™ career in Argentina, becoming the first Portuguese rider to stand on the podium in the intermediate category. Last year in Austin, he qualified on 20th on the grid and crashed during the race in his rookie year.

#StatAttack: Moto3™ in Austin

– Joan Mir (Leopard Racing), John McPhee (British Talent Team) and Jorge Martín (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) stood on the podium for the second time in a row; the first time since Alex Rins, Maverick Viñales and Álex Márquez in Misano and Aragon in 2013.

Mir on a mission: it’s Texas time

The field is far from a three-horse race, however. A combination of bad luck, trouble and circumstance has hit many of those sure to soon get back to making big impressions on the fight at the front – Martin’s teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio, Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) – all riders with previous podium form, and Oettl on pole last year. And then there’s last year’s winner Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers)…