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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Petronas Sprinta Racing re-energized and raring to tackle Le Mans

Following a difficult weekend in Jerez, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki are geared up and ready to tackle Le Mans with renewed determination.

Located 200km from Paris, the unique French circuit combines many first gear corners and fast straights. Its stop-and-go characteristics make late braking and hard acceleration performance crucial for a good set up.

“Le Mans is a great track; I have good confidence there. This year I feel a lot stronger both in myself and with the bike, which is working well. At Le Mans you need to be really strong on the brakes, which is something I feel very confident with on this bike, so I’m really looking forward to this GP. Since Jerez I have been training very hard in Spain; we have been riding a lot, so hopefully I can step up my game and improve my results a lot more this weekend. I want to take back points in Le Mans, this is the number one priority; push hard and finish strong.”

“I’m very excited to get back on track this weekend. I like the track at Le Mans, I just hope that the weather stays nice for us, because in the wet it can be a bit tricky. My aim for Le Mans is to focus every single lap during the weekend and really work hard to improve my performance. I have to believe more in myself and do better; I must push harder and never give up. Every session I must improve. I have to work harder than ever before during qualifying and really push to start the race in a good position. Then on Sunday I have to fight throughout the whole race.”


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Petronas Sprinta Racing take points at Jerez

The Spanish Grand Prix saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Ayumu Sasaki finish in the points for the second consecutive time, concluding today’s race in 12th place. Teammate Adam Norrodin finished closely behind in 16th place, just missing out on a point scoring position as he fought his way to the chequered flag.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It’s been a very tough weekend for us here in Jerez. We don’t really know why we have been off the pace so much here. Both riders had a bad qualifying yesterday, which meant the grid positions didn’t help us for the race. Ayumu was doing good lap times during the race but he was at the back of the front group. We had talked about this prior to the race; it’s not where he should have been. We were really hoping that he could have fought in the group today, so now we have to look at why he couldn’t. Twelfth today is lucky because of all the crashes. Of course we are pleased to leave with four points but we believe the position could have been better. For Adam it was very hard starting from the back of the grid. At one point he tried to break away from his group but he couldn’t catch the riders in front on his own and then the others caught him back up again. It was a very tough race for him, very hard. It really is a weekend to forget and to focus on the next race and see what we can do for Le Mans. The riders need to prepare themselves and really work harder; they need to focus on doing more on their own to make better practices and qualifying next time.”

“I’m very disappointed with this race. I couldn’t push in the beginning and we lost the group in front. In my group there was so much fighting so the gap to the others just kept getting bigger. In the middle of the race I knew it was too late and that we wouldn’t be able to catch them anymore. Near the end of the race a lot of riders in front crashed out, so I saw the opportunity to get some points. I made sure that I was at the front of my group but I wasn’t strong enough in the last corner and we missed out on the points. I’m so disappointed with myself for this and sorry to the team. I have to come back for the next race because now we are far away from where we should be; I need to wake up and fight harder.”

“We have struggled a lot this weekend and today has been no different. I haven’t been able to do the lap times on my own here, so it’s been very difficult. It’s disappointing because our race pace was good today but I couldn’t fight. I had an issue with the front of the bike and so I couldn’t pass many riders. It was my fault because I didn’t test so much the braking during the practice sessions, as I wasn’t pushing enough. The first time I tried to hard brake anyone was in the race, so we didn’t know that the bike had problems until this point. In Le Mans we have many things to work on; I must really focus on doing the lap times alone and pushing harder during practice and qualifying. If I do this we have a very good chance of fighting with the leaders. This weekend has been a big lesson for me. I have learned an awful lot.”


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Spanish GP

Jerez-Angel Nieto Circuit, 2018



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Petronas Sprinta Racing ready to raise their game as championship returns to Europe

As the MotoGP Championship descends upon the Circuito de Jerez for the first European round of the 2018 season, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki gear up for a strong performance on familiar terrain.

“I can’t wait to go to Jerez! This is our first European race of the year, so I’m very excited. After a bad result in the US, I feel very motivated to make a good result in Jerez. I have to do this because I cannot afford to lose any more points in the standings. I have to make a good result and that’s what I’m going to push for. I need to make up for the points I lost at Austin. My overall focus is the Championship. For Jerez I think we need to make some small changes with the bike that we haven’t tried yet and maybe this can help me to take another step in the right direction. I’m focused and ready to push hard.”

“I’m really excited for the race in Jerez and happy to come back to Europe. I like the Circuito de Jerez a lot and it’s the track that I have the most experience on in Europe. I have to try and take advantage of this and use my confidence at this track to be more competitive and fight at the front. I will focus a lot on how I spend my time during FP1 and FP2 because we have to change our strategy to be able to fight for the podium. I know what I have to do and I’m ready to do it. We are coming closer to the top, so I think it’s only a matter of time before we achieve our target. I’m ready to work hard this weekend and do the best that I can.”


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Sasaki claims eleventh place at Austin

The Grand Prix of the Americas saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Ayumu Sasaki add a further five points to his Championship tally, with a respectable 11th place finish in today’s Moto3 race.

Teammate Adam Norrodin experienced a disappointing end to an already tough weekend for the Malaysian, with a crash on lap one prematurley ending his race.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Ayumu made a very good start from eighth place on the grid. He gained some positions and was fighting well in the leading group but then he had a big moment coming onto the straight; it was a huge high-side but he did an amazing job to save it. Unfortunately this really disturbed his momentum and he then struggled to get back into his rhythm. From this point Ayumu had a tough time because he lost the chance to fight higher up in the group. The lap times he was doing were good, so it’s a shame that he wasn’t able to fight back and overtake the other riders. To finish eleventh is not so bad and he takes away five more points from here, so this is very positive.
For Adam he had a decent start but then he made a mistake going into the first corner and crashed. That was the end to an already very tough weekend for Adam. Now he has to go away, recompose and prepare himself for Jerez, so he can come back stronger in Europe.”

“Before warm up this morning we made some small changes to the bike and I felt really good. We finished the session in eleventh place, so I felt a lot more confident going into the race. I had a good start but the first corner here is always a big fight and coming from so far back is very risky. As I turned into turn one I touched the rider in front of me and immediately crashed out. I picked up my bike and tried to re-join the race but the handle bar was so bent, so I had to retire. I’m so disappointed and sorry to all the team for today’s result. Now I have to concentrate even more for Jerez; I have to collect back some points there and make amends.”

“I firstly have to thank my crew because our set-up for the race was very good. I made a good start and was able to follow the front group quite easily. Unfortunately three laps in, I had a big moment and lost the leading battle; I ended up at the back of the first group. One rider from the front then dropped back and we really struggled to pass him; this lost us time and created a bigger gap of around two seconds to the front. I had a small problem with my front brake too, so during the last few laps it was very difficult to try and catch them up. It’s a shame we couldn’t capitalise on our starting position today. I think for the next race I also need to work on my riding style a little bit, but overall we are going in the right direction. We have to make one more step but I’m confident that we can do this in Jerez.”


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Americas GP

Circuit of The Americas, 2018



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Petronas Sprinta Racing ready to take on Texas

Following an action packed week of intense training and two wheeled activities at ex-MotoGP rider Colin Edwards’ boot camp in Texas, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki make their way to the Circuit of the Americas energised, motivated and hungry for results.

Situated in Austin Texas, COTA, as it is most commonly known, was the first circuit in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One. With a counter-clockwise driving direction and a unique elevation change of forty-one metres, the Circuit of The Americas is renowned for its varied track layout. Including a mix of both fast straights and tight hairpins the circuit encompasses twenty corners, with eleven left and nine right-hand turns, making it one of the most technically challenging circuits on the MotoGP calendar.

“I have a really good feeling going to Austin. Argentina was a very positive weekend for us and after having just spent the last week training at Colin Edwards boot-camp, I feel more motivated than ever! I have been riding all week, so my confidence is high and I’m excited to go to Austin. It’s been really great to make this program, so thanks so much to Colin for inviting us. The track at Austin is not an easy one; there are many technical corners and last year I struggled quite a bit there. For sure this GP will be hard work for me as it’s not my strongest track but I’m prepared for this and ready to give it my all. We have improved the bike a lot this year and I feel a lot stronger in myself, so I’m positive I can do a better job. If I can collect some good points at this round I will be very happy to go to Jerez.”

“I like technical tracks a lot so I’m really looking forward to this next race at COTA. Our result in Argentina was not so great, so now I feel even more hungry for a good result. When I have a disappointing race all I want to do is go again straight away, so I’ve been looking forward to Austin all week! Qualifying will be very important this weekend; we must have a good starting position for the race to be in with any chance of a top ten finish. I’m very confident with our dry set-up so I really hope the weather is good. I will have to push very hard and make a strong start to the race so that I can fight to be in the top group; this is what I will be focusing on.”


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