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.

#7 ADAM NORRODIN
“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.”

#71 AYUMU SASAKI
“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. “

#7 ADAM NORRODIN – DNF
“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.”

#71 AYUMU SASAKI – P16
“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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Nicky Hayden and his signature smile were able to rest a few…

Nicky Hayden and his signature smile were able to rest a few weeks during the 2015/2016 off season at his home in Owensboro.

2002 AMA Superbike Champion, 2006 MotoGP World Champion

Awful things happen, all over the world, to anyone. And it’s a terrible shame for something so awful to have happened to one so loved as Nicky Hayden, exactly 1 year ago today.