Petronas Sprinta Racing raring for next test on home soil

Petronas Sprinta Racing concluded the third and final day of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo today.

Due to poor weather conditions throughout the three days at the Valencian Circuit, track time for riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki was dramatically reduced.

Day one saw continuous rainfall deterring any track activity amongst the paddock. When the rain stopped mid morning on day two it was the low temperatures that prevented riders and teams from taking the risk.

Thursday brought with it more sun but again the cool climate hindered the opportunity to push for times, with tyre grip suffering in the cold conditions.

Despite taking part in just three sessions overall, Norrodin and Sasaki used their valuable track time well, focussing their attentions on reacquainting themselves with the new NSF250RW Honda and preparing bike set-up for the next test at the teams’ home circuit in Malaysia, in just six days’ time.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Its not been the most productive test here with the cold and wet conditions, but we manged to get some track time this afternoon; it’s been sunny but still very low temperatures. We had two crashes in Moto3 but luckily both riders are OK, although Adam did damage his finger a little, so he couldn’t do his best. Anyway, we have been able to try some things with the new bike and now we’re ready to go to Malaysia.”

#7 ADAM NORRODIN
“It’s been quite a frustrating first test with the weather being so cold! We couldn’t ride at all on the first day because of the rain and then even when that stopped it was just too cold to get any real heat in the tyres. We first went out in the afternoon on Wednesday [day two] and unfortunately, I had a crash very soon into it – this was a silly mistake – I was pushing too hard too quick and there was very little grip with the low track temperature. I damaged my finger quite badly but I can still ride. Today it has been sunnier but still so cold, so when we went out I just concentrated on getting used to the bike again, making sure my position is okay and building my pace. I feel ready to go to Sepang now; I can’t wait to have good weather where we can really push to make the lap time and get dialed in.”

#71 AYUMU SASAKI
“Today has been the better day; its been a lot sunnier but still very cold. We have been working on our base set-up and getting a feel for the bike again. It feels great to be back riding a Moto3 machine. I’m really looking forward to going to Malaysia now. Hopefully we can get more time on track and be able to push a lot harder before we come back for the final test in Jerez in March.”

SIC Racing Team set for Sepang

SIC Racing Team rider Zulfahmi Khairrudin had his first experience of the Kalex Moto2 bike this week, concluding a three day test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia today.
Despite poor weather conditions reducing the Malaysian riders track time to just three 70 minute sessions overall, Fahmi [as he is known] was able to get a feel for his new 600cc machine, before heading back to home soil for the teams second pre-season test in Malaysia next week.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“This test was the first time riding the Moto2 bike for Fahmi; a week ago he didn’t know he would be here, so of course it’s quite nerve-wracking for him to have a complete new bike and new crew around him. The conditions really haven’t helped him either, but nevertheless we have done the first shakedown and made a very good bike fitting. He’s happy with his position and way with the bike, so this is a good start. We have a lot of work to do; he has to push hard; we have to adapt ourselves to his style. For sure in Malaysia it will be good because we have three days full of testing and this will help his adaption into Moto2 a lot.”

#63 ZULFAHMI KHAIRUDDIN
“The first day was raining and the second day we did only a few laps to check the bike and get a feel for the bike. For me my first impression was that this moto2 bike is so light and has really good power in the engine. The hardest part for me is getting used to the tyres; we are working now on the engine braking to make me more comfortable to brake harder and to enter the corners with a good feeling. To be honest I think this bike has great potential and I can go really fast on it, I just need more time and more laps to get dialled in and pick up my pace. I have a really strong team behind me with Fausto and all the crew, so I feel really confident that together with the Kalex support and Ohlin’s we have a really good package. Sure I don’t have to rush to go fast but still I have to show my potential because the Moto2 class is very competitive, so I need to be quick and enjoy the bike. It’s fantastic to be going to Sepang next week because the weather is so much better there than in Europe right now. I think we will be able to get much more done and really focus on our bike set-up and getting up to speed.”

SIC Racing Team rev up for Moto2 pre-season testing

Expanding into the Moto2 Category for 2018, SIC Racing Team prepare to take on the intermediate class, with the return of Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin on board the Kalex machine.

The team will start three days of official testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, scheduled from the 6th – 8th February, where they will be able to benchmark themselves against the competition for the first time.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Zulfahmi Khairuddin will now join us in Moto2 for 2018, which was a bit of a surprise because we had planned for Hafizh to be riding, but nevertheless we are prepared. We have been working very hard for the last six months to prepare the Moto2 project and we have everything in place. We have very good people behind this project and this team. We will give Fahmi the best support and the best bike; I think he will be surprised how nice it is to ride a Moto2 bike. Of course it will be difficult too, it’s a tough Championship and it will require a lot of hard work from him but Fahmi feels confident and ready to take on this challenge. We will be there to help him prepare and support him throughout.

Now we have nine days of testing before the first round at Qatar, so we have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to try and help Fahmi in his change from Supersport to Moto2 but I am sure he will like the bike and love the team, as he already knows many people here, so it will be an easy transition for him.”

#63 ZULFAHMI KHAIRUDDIN
“It’s really great to have this opportunity, so I would like to thank SIC, especially Razlan for his continuous support and belief in me. I’m really excited to return to the MotoGP paddock. In Valencia the focus will be on improving my feeling on the Moto2 bike and getting up to speed quickly. I don’t think it’s that bigger step for me from Supersport to Moto2 but for sure the competition will be hard and I have to do a lot more laps. I hope to get some good data in Valencia before we test the following week in Malaysia.”

 

Petronas Sprinta Racing primed and prepared for first test of 2018

Riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki return to the Moto3 field for 2018 with the renowned backing of Petronas Sprinta Racing.

Geared up for the new season, Sasaki and Norrodin will return to the track on board their Honda NSF250RW machines for three days of official testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, commencing on Tuesday 6th February.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We are starting now our third year with Honda which is great because we have gathered a lot of information and learned a lot over the last two years. I feel as though we are coming stronger and stronger as a team. The riders and crew chiefs are the same as well as the majority of the mechanics, so I’m pleased to keep this consistency to help Adam and Ayumu progress.
We made a good job last year and it was great to see Adam grow last season and be more regularly in the front group; this means he has a lot more experience and a lot more expectation on himself for 2018.

This will be Ayumu’s second year in the Moto3 Championship and following on from 2017 we have high expectations for him also. He won Rookie of the Year last season which was fantastic and we ended the year in strong form. Ayumu I think will come back more focused and determined to work hard. He has a great talent and the ability to go far, so let’s see what we can do. We have many things we want to test, as well as some new parts from Honda, so Valencia will be a very interesting shakedown for us.”

#7 ADAM NORRODIN
“It feels like a long time since the last round at Valencia; I can’t wait to get going again! I feel fresh and motivated for this season; I’m excited. My mentality is coming stronger and stronger; I feel a lot more focussed and prepared. I have been training with my trainer Aleix in Spain to work on both my physical ability and also my mental strength, as 2018 is a very important year for me. My target is to find a really good base setting during the testing period and improve on our performance from last year by being stronger from the very start. I have to raise my game now and take full advantage of the experience and knowledge I have gained during the last two years in Moto3.”

#71 AYUMU SASAKI
“I’m very excited for 2018 and incredibly happy that I can continue in Moto3 with Petronas Sprinta Racing. I feel prepared for the new season; I have been training hard over the winter break to come back stronger, both physically and mentally. I have recently returned from Guam where I went through an intense fitness program for two weeks and now I am back in Barcelona with my teammate Adam and our trainer Aleix. I’m really excited for this test in Valencia; I cannot wait to get back on my bike! We have three pre-season tests coming up and these will all be very important for us. I will concentrate and work hard so that I am prepared for the first race and ready to achieve my target; I want to be better than before and fighting for the podium.”

 

AYUMU SASAKI IS 2017 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo, Spain – Sunday 12th November

Circuit: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit Length: 4.0 km

The 2017 Grand Finale at Valencia saw SIC Racing Team rider Ayumu Sasaki claim the prestigious Rookie of The Year title. Crossing the line in 13th place, the seventeen-year-old concluded his debut year in the World Championship with the most points scored by a Moto3 rookie during the season.
Just missing out on another top fifteen finish, teammate Adam Norrodin completed his 2017 campaign with a hard fought 17th place in today’s Valencia Grand Prix. The young Malaysian ends the year having made solid progress throughout and looking in strong form for the New Year ahead.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“It’s been a good weekend overall. Ayumu has been fast from the start here and has had very good pace. Unfortunately during the race today he started suffering a little bit and couldn’t really follow the front guys. Nevertheless he tried very hard despite the issues he experienced with the front of his bike. It wasn’t easy for him and of course he is disappointed because he wanted to make a better finish here today, but it is like it is. The good thing that we are all happy about is that Ayumu clinched the title of Rookie of The Year – this was always the target and we are all proud of him for achieving it.
Adam had a harder time here in Valencia and he struggled from the first practice session. Although he qualified twelfth we knew his pace wouldn’t be there. He didn’t make the best start either, so that made things even harder for him but he didn’t just give up – he fought throughout the whole race to hold onto his place. Regardless Adam has made great progress this year. We have watched him become stronger and prove his ability to compete at the top end. We are really happy for this.
We go into next year having made some big steps with both riders, so we’re already excited to see what Adam and Ayumu can achieve in 2018.
Thanks to all the team for their hard work this year and thanks to Sepang Circuit and our sponsors for their support.”

#7 Adam Norrodin P17

“It’s been a tough weekend here in Valencia as I’ve really struggled to find a good rhythm around this track. We knew the race would be hard and I expected to lose some places initially but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get them back as the race progressed. I’m disappointed not to finish the last race of the year in the points but looking back at the season, overall I’m happy with the progress we have made. We’ve have taken some big steps and finally shown that we can be competitive. I know I can take what I have learned this year and come back even stronger in 2018. I want to thank my team, sponsors and fans for their support and I hope to do even better for them next year.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki P13

“First of all I have to say thanks to my team and sponsors for all their support this year. It’s not been an easy debut into the World Championship but I think we have done a good job overall.
I’m disappointed not to have done better in the race today. We have been at the top end of the timesheets all weekend, so it’s a great shame not to have capitalised on my qualifying position.
In the race I experienced some problems with the front of my bike from around three laps into the race. At first I could manage it but as the tyres dropped it became harder to control. My front kept closing, so I was trying to push it with my hand but by the last five laps I had a lot of pain in my hand from it. It was a really tough race but I’m pleased we managed to finish in the same group and I didn’t crash.
It’s good to have collected another point too – three races in a row – we have finished stronger than we started and this is the main thing. This is what I will take into the off season.
I think I have to change many things and work harder for next year and then we can fight in the front group every race; this is my focus now.
I’m very happy to be awarded Rookie of The Year and I look forward to taking the next step in 2018.”

SASAKI SET TO CHARGE FROM ROW THREE; NORRODIN RACE READY FOR SEASON FINALE

Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo, Spain – Saturday 11th November

Circuit: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit Length: 4.0 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P12; 1’39.615 – 15 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P7; 1’39.492 – 13 laps

SIC Racing Team rider Ayumu Sasaki secured his best qualifying position of the season today, placing his bike on the third row in 7th place. Teammate Adam Norrodin qualified just behind on row four, lining up for tomorrow’s final Moto3 race of the year in 12th position.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“It’s been a good weekend so far, especially for Ayumu. He’s been fast from the start and very consistent with his lap times. We knew he could have a good qualifying today. Maybe he could have gone a few tenths faster as he was a bit unlucky to come across some slower riders in the last two laps – but nevertheless he was still quick and qualifying P7 is good. He has a very strong race pace here too, so I really believe he can run with the front group tomorrow.
Adam has had a harder start to the weekend here; he finds the track a little difficult so has struggled to find his rhythm; still he has worked very hard to improve. With the help of his Crew Chief he found a good way this afternoon. Mentally in the last run he was really ready to push hard for the lap time and that’s exactly what he did. Big credit to Adam for this because it’s not been easy for him. For sure from 12th he can make a good race. He is always stronger on a Sunday.
It will be an interesting race tomorrow.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“I’m happy to have qualified in 12th position today. The pace was very fast and it was a tough session, so I’m pleased with how it went, especially as I’ve struggled with this track from the start of the weekend. FP3 was difficult for us but I felt more focused for the qualifying; the bike was working well and I was able to find my rhythm. Towards the end I just went for it and I gave everything I had. I felt good on the bike and just really focussed on improving my lap time.
For sure it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow so we need to keep our concentration and prepare to fight our way to the front group. I want to finish the season with more points and a good result.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“This weekend we have been strong from the first practice session. I love the track here; the bike works great and it’s the season finale, so I’m feeling really good.
I have learned many things this year, so now I am just trying to put everything together and do all that I have learnt during these last seventeen races.
I think we have done a pretty good job so far; we have been top ten throughout the practice sessions and then again in QP with 7th position. I wanted to go a little bit more but at least we made a good qualifying time. This is very positive for the race because I have a good feeling with the Medium tyre and I know my race pace is strong too. We have the speed to go with the front group.

In Warm Up we will try some more medium settings and then I will fight to be at the front.”

SASAKI AND NORRODIN START STRONG ON DAY ONE AT VALENCIA

Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo, Spain – Friday 10th November

Circuit: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit Length: 4.0 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P17; 1’41.018 – 19 laps
FP2: P13; 1’40.316 –16 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P8; 1’40.511 – 18 laps
FP2: P5; 1’39.966 – 15 laps

Day one at Valencia saw a successful start for the SIC Racing Team duo, with Ayumu Sasaki concluding practice in 5th position on race tyres and Adam Norrodin, with less than half a second separating the two teammates, in 13th place overall.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“Today was quite a good day. Valencia has not been my best track in the past so I’m happy to have started the weekend like we have. Of course we still need to make a big step ahead of qualifying tomorrow but in general I feel good on the bike. Already in FP2 I did my best lap time around this circuit, with a medium tyre. It was the final minutes of each practice where I lost out the most; for the rest of the session we were up there; so this is something I have to work on for tomorrow and continue to improve right until the very end.
I’m happy with the bike and I feel confident that we can do well here. For sure qualifying will be tough and the times are going to be close but we will push to be up at the top end.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“We had a great start today. This is one of my favourite tracks and we could begin the weekend strong. In FP1 we focussed on the job and finished in the top ten, then for the second practice we changed our bike setting and it worked even better. We were able to improve our lap time and position and in the end finished fifth; I think my best start to a race weekend this year. The only thing we didn’t test today was the soft tyre, so we will try this during FP3; then we will know what we have to do in the qualifying.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and I will try my hardest to be close to the front and get a good grid position for the race.”

 

SIC RACING TEAM READY FOR THE FINAL FIGHT AT VALENCIA

Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo, Spain – Tuesday 7th November

Circuit: Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Circuit Length: 4.0 km

As the Grand Finale beckons, SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki are ready and raring to finish the 2017 season on a high.

Following a heroic ride into the points in front of his home crowd in Malaysia, Adam Norrodin returns to Europe determined to conclude the year with his best result of the season.

Teammate Ayumu Sasaki will also be looking to add vital points to his Championship tally, as the last round will see him contest for the title of ‘Rookie of the Year’.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“I am both excited and sad that it is the last race of the year. I feel we have made really good progress this season and have become stronger and stronger throughout.
I really like the track at Valencia; we have tested there a lot and everybody has experience there, so it’s a level playing field. The track is nice and you can see everything; it’s not such a big track but it’s quite technical.
It’s the last race so for sure my target is to collect more points and finish the season on a high. I want to end the year in a positive way and looking forward to the new season ahead.
I am ready to work hard and give 100% for this weekend.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“I can’t believe this is the last race of the year; it’s gone so fast! It’s not been an easy year for me but I have learnt many things.

Our last two races were quite good, so I really want to finish the season in strong form.
I love going to Valencia because it’s one of my favourite tracks and I know it well. I think we can make a good job there; my target is top five. We will focus for the Friday practice; it’s important that we are up the top end of the timesheets from the beginning of the weekend.

We have to give everything to this last race, we need another good result.
I’m excited and can’t wait to ride on Friday.”

SIC RACING TEAM SCORE HARD FOUGHT POINTS AT HOME GRAND PRIX

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Sunday 29th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km

The 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix saw SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki scoring solid points in today’s Moto3 race, crossing the line in 11th [Adam] and 12th [Ayumu] place.
Determined to do well in front of his home crowd, Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin wasted no time launching himself up through the field, claiming seven places within the first lap. With a podium place in sight, the 19-year-old fought his way up to fourth and began closing the gap, when pushing hard saw him make a small mistake and loose the front end of his #7 machine. Refusing to let go of his bike, Norrodin heroically remounted and re-joined the race in fourteenth place. With eight laps remaining Norrodin pushed hard until the bitter end, battling his way to 11th and breaking the lap record in the race, with a time of 2’12.775.
Starting from fourteenth on the grid, teammate Ayumu Sasaki initially gained a position in the opening lap but soon became aware of some small issues with the front end of his Honda machine. Struggling with the feeling on board his #71 bike, the Moto3 rookie focused on retaining a point scoring positon and achieving a respectable 12th place finish in front of the team’s home crowd.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Adam was very fast and made a very good start; He pushed really hard on the first few laps and immediately got up to the front. You could see that his target was the podium. He was so close and fought his way to fourth place but then on lap ten going into the first corner he went in just a little bit too fast and crashed. He held onto the bike, picked it up and finished the race, so we are very proud of him for this. He never gave up and finished 11th so I’m happy in one way and disappointed for him in the other. We knew he would have been quite safe in the top five today, but we also know his target was more than fifth, so he went for it. These things can happen, so big credit to Adam for trying so hard.
Ayumu’s race pace today was not as strong as Adam’s but nevertheless he did a good job. He stayed in the group from sixth to thirteenth place and was hanging on even though he had some small issues during the race. He struggled a bit with the front of the bike and couldn’t really push and pass other riders like he wanted, so that held him back a bit. He rode smart and brought home some points in twelfth, so I’m happy with this.”

#7 Adam Norrodin P11

“In the beginning I pushed really hard to stay with the front group because at Sepang the first group always pulls away. I was fighting a lot in the top six but then I saw that Mir was starting to pull away in second place, so I tried to go with him. I knew I had the pace. I passed Loi for fourth position and tried to go but then I asked too much of the front tyre going into the first corner; I pushed too hard and I lost the front. I tried to save it but it was impossible with the speed I was doing.
My confidence is so much higher than this time last year; I felt no pressure in the race; I just wanted to make the podium for my home crowd. I’m happy that I was able to finish the race and still collect some points after the crash but I’m sorry for my team, family, friends and everyone who came here to support us, I wanted so much to achieve a better result today.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki P12

“In Warm Up this morning we changed the settings a little bit and I had a much better feeling on the bike than in qualifying, so I felt ready for the race. From the Warm Up to the race the temperature was a lot different and this always makes it harder to set up the bike; when I started the race my feeling was not so good on the bike. All I could do was try to follow the front group but I didn’t have the pace to fight with them. In the end I passed two riders and finished 12th, so at least we have some more points. I’m not so happy about our position but I’m pleased we finished in the points at the team’s home race. I’ve really enjoyed being here and I hope that next year we are able to give back a present to the fans and fight for the win! We are getting stronger race by race and this is very important.”

NORRODIN AND SASAKI READY TO FIGHT HARD FOR HOME CROWD

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Saturday 28th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P15; 2’13.847 – 12 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P14; 2’13.792 – 12 laps

SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki will line up on the fifth row for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, after qualifying in 14th [Ayumu] and 15th [Adam] place.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“The weekend has started very well for Adam and there have been a lot of positives throughout the three practice sessions, so it’s a shame that qualifying didn’t go quite as we would have liked, or expected. We’ve seen from the start that Adam has a very good pace here and can do fast lap times on his own, but in qualifying you need that little bit extra and unfortunately today we didn’t find it. In any case Adam starts in a decent position tomorrow and I’m confident that regardless of where he lines up, he will make a strong start, get to the front group and fight with the leaders.
Ayumu has been struggling a little bit more in the free practice sessions here, so to finish fourteenth today, he has done a good job. The starting position is so important for him because as we have seen before he can be very strong in the races, if he can just make a good start and have a solid first few laps. If he does this I think he will be fighting up there in the top ten as well.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“I’m disappointed because we were capable of a much better qualifying today. All weekend we have been strong and I have felt confident in myself and with the bike. I was sure we could do really well today.
I wanted so much to qualify at the front for my home race, to make sure that I would be in the first group tomorrow. The session started well for us and we were always in the top ten; I did all my lap times alone too but in the end this is what prevented me from improving any further because all the riders in the group were fast and passed me on the final lap. This is Moto3 qualifying though, it’s very tough, very competitive and the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
Fifteenth for me is not that bad but I expected more here at Sepang because we have the pace. Nevertheless the weekend is not over and the most important day is tomorrow. This is my only focus now; I have to really concentrate and prepare myself to fight hard; I can’t let the front group go.

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“Today was a difficult qualifying. In FP3 this morning it had been raining so the track was half wet and I couldn’t really push. In terms of our set-up we started QP pretty much from zero, like FP1, so to finish 14th is not so bad but I’m not happy about it. We have these unlucky times and now we just have to work hard to improve for tomorrow. Warm Up will be very important because I want to change the bike settings a little bit so that I can try to be up at the front in the race. I hope we can have a good race for the Malaysian fans.”

NORRODIN SECOND ON DAY ONE AT SEPANG

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Friday 27th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P2; 2’13.409 – 14 laps
FP2: P6; 2’29.655 –16 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P25; 2’15.622 – 11 laps
FP2: P16; 2’30.627 – 15 laps

SIC Racing Team rider Adam Norrodin excelled on home turf today, concluding Practice in 2nd place overall. Faced with one dry session this morning and one wet this afternoon, the nineteen-year-old Malaysian tackled both weather conditions with ease, never dropping out of the top six and exuding confidence throughout.

Teammate Ayumu Sasaki experienced a tougher start to proceedings, with a small crash in Free Practice One hampering the rookie’s initial progress in the dry. With more time on track in FP2, the 17-year-old worked hard to dial into the wet conditions and get up to speed on board the #71 machine. Finishing the afternoon session in a respectable 16th place, the Japanese rider is confident he can pick up the pace ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.

#7 Adam Norrodin
“It’s been a great first day. We finished second overall and had two good practice sessions in both the dry and wet conditions.
In the morning in the dry we made a really strong start; the bike felt good, I felt good and everything just fell into place. It was a nice feeling to stay within the top five the whole time and then finish second.
FP2 was wet and I started well but towards the end I was not pushing as much and we finished sixth. Nevertheless the bike felt good and I’m feeling confident.
It’s only day one so it’s important to keep my head down and stay focussed; tomorrow we must work hard to have a good qualifying. I want to do my best here in front of my home crowd. Everybody is expecting a good result from me and I want to deliver.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“During first practice I made a mistake within the first three laps and crashed, so we lost quite a bit of time. When I went back out I had a problem with the front brake, so I didn’t get to ride a lot in the dry and really test our settings.
Second practice was wet but I had a good feeling on the bike. I made my fastest time on my tenth lap but unfortunately after that I couldn’t improve any further. Anyway I had a good feeling and this is positive for tomorrow. I feel pretty confident ahead of the qualifying; I think we can do well. I will prepare myself for both weather conditions and push for a good starting position, so I’m ready for the race.”

Ends

SIC RACING TEAM SET HIGH HOPES FOR HOME GRAND PRIX

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Wednesday 25th October

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km

The prestigious Sepang International Circuit, home to the SIC Racing Team and Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin, will host the penultimate round of the 2017 MotoGP Championship this weekend.

Following a solid top ten result for both riders last time out at Phillip Island, the SIC Racing Team head to the Malaysian Grand Prix, motivated and determined to continue their run of form in front of their home crowd.

Adam Norrodin has his sights firmly set on a top five fight to the line, with teammate Ayumu Sasaki looking to follow suit with another point scoring finish.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“This Grand Prix is the one I have been waiting for all year! It’s so good to come back for my home GP and see all the crowd and have my family and friends with me. I’m going to enjoy this weekend a lot.
After the last race at Phillip Island I’m feeling very confident. We are not so far away and coming stronger race by race. Finishing eighth in Australia has motivated me even more to do better at Sepang this weekend. I want to be minimum, top five. Of course the podium is in my mind and if the opportunity comes I will take it! I want more than anything to do my best here in front of our home crowd. We have nothing to lose!”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“The last race was really good for the team and for myself; I feel I have gained confidence ahead of the team’s home race.
I think we have a lot of positives coming to Malaysia. We tested here already at the beginning of the year and both Adam and I did well.
This is also one of the best tracks for me; I rode here a lot when I was competing in the Asia Talent Cup and have won at Sepang before. It’s a great track and I know it well!
We have to focus again for the practice but I will try to be up there like in Australia. Qualifying is what has let me down many times this year, so this is what we will really have to work on to improve this weekend.
I want to be able to fight in the front group again and finish in the points.”

SIC RACING TEAM EXPANDS INTO MOTO2 FOR 2018

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Tuesday 24th October

SIC Racing Team are today delighted to announce their rider line up for 2018. This will see the continuation of Moto3™ riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki, with the addition of Hafizh Syahrin who will compete in the Moto2™ Championship.
The team expands into the intermediate category for 2018 thanks to the new collaboration between Sepang International Circuit [SIC] and Petronas.
The two parties have formed the ‘PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’ team that will focus on the development of talents to compete in the global two-wheel championships. The partnership will continue with the joint efforts of both PETRONAS Talent Development Programme (TDP) and SIC Talent Development Programme (SICTD) to nurture future talent rising from the Malaysian Cub Prix, Asia Road Racing Championship and Asia Talent Cup to pursue their racing careers in the Moto2™ and Moto3™ championships.

JOHAN STIGEFELT – TEAM MANAGER
“I’m very happy to announce that we will continue with Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki in Moto3 next year and to unveil the expansion of our team into the Moto2 class for 2018, with rider Hafizh Syahrin. This is a very exciting time for us!
We have seen this year the steps both Adam and Ayumu have taken and the progress they have made; they have improved throughout the season and continued to learn from both their mistakes and achievements. Everything we have done with them, all the data we have gathered, all the things we have learned as a team, will be of benefit to us next year. We have seen this already with Adam, who has made a big step from his rookie year in the Championship; we expect the same with Ayumu in 2018.
It’s also very important for us that we are continuing with Honda. It will be our third year in collaboration. We have learned a lot about the NSF250RW over the last two years, so for sure we will be even stronger with the technical side of things next year.
Going back to Moto2 will be great and we are very excited to have been given the opportunity to expand the team. Last time we were in the intermediate class was in 2014 with Johann Zarco and Josh Herrin, so we are not green to the category and I know we can make a good job there with Hafizh. We have put together a very good crew for him next year; they come with experience, knowledge and a solid CV of impressive results with previous riders; I know they will work very well together to get him where he needs to be. I’m confident this team will allow Hafizh to take the next step in his career and achieve the results we all know he is capable of.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Sepang International Circuit for their continued support and for taking this step up into the Moto2 class. It’s a privilege to be working with them and continuing the young rider’s development project together. As well I would like to thank Petronas who are coming in as our Title sponsor and will work with us for the next few years. It’s an honour to have them on board.
We are really looking forward to next year.”

#55 HAFIZH SYAHRIN
“First I would like to say thank you very much to the SIC Racing Team for giving me this opportunity and believing in me. I will try my best for them in 2018.
I’m so happy that I will continue in Moto2 next year and with my new team I’m really hopeful that I can do better.
I have struggled a little during 2017 and only achieved two podiums; although I have accomplished my target for the year, I want more in 2018. The podium will always be my goal; to fight at the front and compete for the Championship title.
Now I will stay focussed and keep working for next year. I’m very happy and excited for this new collaboration. I believe we can do a very good job together in 2018.
Thanks also to Razlan Razali and Petronas for their continued support and belief in me. I hope to repay them with good results.”

#7 ADAM NORRODIN
“It’s fantastic to be staying with my crew again in 2018. This will be our third year together. We have worked hard since the start and have made good progress over the last two years, so I’m very excited to continue; I believe next year I can take an even bigger step and really be a contender in the Moto3 Championship.
I’m very happy about the expansion of the team into Moto2 and our new partnership with Petronas. It will be so great to have Hafizh Syahrin with us, not only because we are good friends but also because of the experience he brings with him. He always helps me to stay calm and focussed and I have learned a lot from him. Having Petronas too, I feel like it is one big family.
I want to say a special thanks to Razlan Razali for giving me this opportunity and continuing to believe in me; to all the team who have put their trust in me and have supported me from the start and my family who are always by my side. Thanks to all them that I am here.”

#71 AYUMU SASAKI
“This year has been a steep learning curve for me. Some tracks were completely new to me, my crew were new, the bike; everything was fresh. I’ve had to adapt too many different things. It’s been a tough year for me because I came into the Championship expecting to do better but the level in Moto3 is much higher and harder to fight at the front in.
Race by race we have come stronger; we have learned many things this season and grown as a team, so I’m very happy to be continuing with the same team and same crew again next year. I’m really looking forward to the 2018 season because I have so much more confidence now; I know what to expect and I feel like I have progressed a lot in the Championship since the beginning of my rookie year.
It’s very exciting to have Petronas coming on board too! I hope to do them proud and also repay the team and SIC [Sepang International Circuit] for all their support, with good results next year.
I am focussed and ready to work harder than before; I will do better in 2018.”

SIC RACING TEAM SECURE SENSATIONAL SEVENTH AND EIGHTH PLACE IN ACTION PACKED AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Phillip Island, Australia – Sunday 22nd October

Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4.4 km

Today’s Australian Grand Prix saw SIC Racing Team riders Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin secure a solid point scoring 7th [Ayumu] and 8th [Adam] place finish, in one of the most action packed Moto3 races of the year.
Racing at the circuit for the first time, Moto3 rookie Ayumu Sasaki looked in strong form as he fought his way up into sixth place. Pushing hard the 17-year-old relentlessly diced with the leaders before rain brought out the red flag and a premature end to proceedings.
Launching off the line Adam Norrodin gained six places within the first lap, placing himself just behind teammate Ayumu Sasaki. From 22nd on the grid, the young Malaysian heroically battled his way up into the top ten. Determined not to let the leading group get away, Norrodin pushed hard to hold on to the pack, concluding the race in an impressive 8th place.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Today has proven that you should never give up! After the qualifying yesterday we were all very upset with both riders performance but after a long talk yesterday they both came back fighting. Today they have shown what they are really capable of.
Last night we spoke a lot about getting up to the front as quickly as possible and how important it is here at Phillip Island and both riders did exactly what we asked. They made a solid start and immediately got themselves in the leading group. Their lap times were better than in qualifying too; you could really see the change in them. It was a fantastic race from both of them. To see Adam and Ayumu up the front and fighting is very rewarding for the whole team. We’ve had some bad luck the last couple of races, so we really needed this result today. We’re very happy to have this before our Home race too. Now we will take this good feeling to Sepang.
I have to say thanks to both riders because they did an amazing job today; they listened and worked very hard. Also to the team who did a great job this weekend; we had a few crashes and they fixed the bikes well and continued working hard, so it’s a solid team effort all round.
Now we are looking forward to Sepang; we have a lot of motivation for this next race to come.”

#7 Adam Norrodin P8

“I’m really happy with our result today. It’s been a difficult weekend for us, so for both Ayumu and myself to finish in the top ten is great! As a team this is our best result of the season.
It was a really fun race and we fought with the leaders the whole way through but it was also very tough. Everyone in the group was fighting really hard because we could see that rain was coming. I saw many crashes and conditions were risky with some wet patches on track but I just focussed on staying with the leaders and holding my position.
The red flag came out with nine laps to go and we finished 8th, so I’m really happy with this. It’s great to go to my Home Grand Prix next week with this good feeling. I can’t wait for Sepang now.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki P7

“We’ve had a couple of tough sessions this weekend but I have enjoyed riding this track since the first practice; I knew the bike was good here.

In the race the conditions improved from the start and I had a good feeling in the front group. We battled a lot and I felt confident.

It’s unfortunate that it started to rain again and the red flag came out because we were coming stronger and stronger every lap. Nevertheless I am pleased with this result; we did a good job today and I must thank my team for this too.

This is equal to my best position of the season, so I will do my best to come back even stronger in the last two races of the year. I’m looking forward to Sepang! ”

PRESSURES ON TO PERFORM FOR NORRODIN AND SASAKI AT PHILLIP ISLAND

Phillip Island, Australia – Saturday 21st October

Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4.4 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P22; 1’38.429 – 14 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P17; 1’38.204 – 14 laps

Starting tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix from 17th [Ayumu] and 22nd [Adam] place, Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin prepare to battle their way back through the field, after a close qualifying session saw the SIC Racing Team duo struggle to improve their times.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“After starting quite well here during the practice sessions, we have gone backwards today. We have not performed our best or achieved what we are capable of and this is very disappointing for the whole team. I believe the riders could have done a lot better today and I’m not happy with either of their performances this afternoon. It will be hard for them to go forward from the starting positions they have. Tomorrow we must continue to work hard and the riders have to prove that they are better than this.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“I’m not happy about qualifying 22nd; this is too far back. We can see the lap times are very close, as we are only 1.3 seconds off pole, but still we could have done better today.
In the beginning I felt very good and the bike was working well but we needed more to go faster, so we made a small change for the second run. When I went back out I almost had a big high-side and this knocked my confidence, so I found it hard to find my rhythm again. For the final run we put in the new medium tyre but as we returned on track we could already see some drops of rain. I tried to push but on my first flying lap the asphalt was already wet in the second corner, so that was that.
It’s a very disappointing qualifying for me; I know I could have done better. It’s going to be tough starting from so far back but I know if I make a good start I have the race pace to fight. There will be some close racing tomorrow, so making a strong start off the line is going to be very important. I believe we still have a good chance to do well here.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“In FP3 this morning we had a good set up but I couldn’t make a good lap time, this was my fault because I wasted time trying to find a good position on track, then in the end it started to rain, so we couldn’t improve any further.
In qualifying I tried to push from the beginning because we could see that more rain was coming but it wasn’t enough to make a strong lap time, then on my fastest lap someone held me up in the last sector. This was very frustrating.
When I went back out on track I struggled again to make a good lap time, so I’m really disappointed. I have no excuse for this. I know I could have done better.
Looking at tomorrow we have a good bike set-up and I know in myself I can improve more, so this I will have to show in Warm Up tomorrow. In the race I will fight to catch the front group and finish in the top ten.”

LESSONS LEARNT FOR NORRODIN AND SASAKI ON DAY ONE AT PHILLIP ISLAND

Phillip Island, Australia – Friday 20th October

Circuit: Phillip Island
Circuit Length: 4.4 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P11; 1’39.353 – 18 laps
FP2: P20; 1’38.892 – 12 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P3; 1’38.670 – 20 laps
FP2: P16; 1’38.505 – 16 laps

Day one at a sunny but cool Phillip Island saw SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki conclude practice in 16th [Ayumu] and 20th [Adam] place overall.

#7 Adam Norrodin

“For all of FP1 I focussed on riding alone because I wanted to see where my level was at this track. The session went well and from the beginning we were up at the top end of the timesheets. I had good pace even though we were using the hard tyre but the lap times were still far away from the record, so I knew we had to find something else.
I went out on the used tyres first thing in afternoon practice and we immediately made a good time and position. During the middle of FP2 we tried something new with the bike but it didn’t work for me and I felt uncomfortable, so we had to revert back to our original settings.
For the final minutes we went onto the medium tyres because we could see how much other riders were improving on them. This would have helped us to take the next step but unfortunately I had a small crash, which was my fault. I was pushing too hard too quickly and I lost the front completely. I shouldn’t have expected so much from a new tyre in these cold conditions straight away; this was my mistake.
The good thing is we know why we didn’t finish in a better position and we know that we can be up there this weekend. We are not far away, so I feel confident for tomorrow.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“First practice went really well! It was my first time at this track but I was able to get used to it very quickly and immediately had a good feeling.
Going into FP2 we made another good start, then in the middle of practice we made some changes to the bike but they were not so good, so we had to go back to our set-up from FP1.
In the end I felt good again but I just couldn’t put together a good lap. I’m disappointed because this was my fault; I was too distracted with trying to find other fast riders to go with, so I could learn the track more. This is why we didn’t finish higher up today.
Tomorrow I will focus more on riding alone and will work very hard to improve my time; I must qualify higher up the grid than before.”

NORRODIN CAUGHT OUT BY CONDITIONS; SASAKI FALLS VICTIM TO RACING INCIDENT AT MOTEGI

Twin Ring Motegi, Japan– Sunday 15th October

Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
Circuit Length: 4.8 km

SIC Racing Team concluded their weekend with a disappointing end to proceedings, following two DNF’s for riders Ayumu Sasaki and Adam Norrodin.
With warm up delayed due to oil on the track, today’s Moto3 race was shortened to just 13 laps.
Norrodin and Sasaki wasted no time as they launched themselves off the line, immediately cutting through the field into 10th [Adam] and 17th [Ayumu] position.
Looking in solid form Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin continued to carve his way through the pack. Making his assault on the field the nineteen year-old was in a solid sixth place, when conditions caught him out with a heavy high side prematurely ending his race.
Undeterred by the treacherous conditions, Ayumu Sasaki fought his way through the spray and mist from 24th, into a point scoring 13th position. Despite gaining pace throughout and looking set for a solid finish, the young rookie saw his race ended with just four laps to go, as Rodrigo crashed out in front, taking the #71 machine with him.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“It was a very difficult race today with the conditions; it was heavy rain from the start and it continued to get worse as the race went on. After the race was shortened both riders knew they would have to push extremely hard; they both made an excellent start and gained positions.
With Adam we said to just go for it and try to be in the front as fast as possible and that’s exactly what he did. He climbed his way up to P6. He said himself that he felt comfortable and didn’t take any extra risk but he crashed coming out of turn two. This is a great shame. We are all very disappointed because we really needed to finish this race well. It’s good that he pushed and fought hard but still disappointing to end like this.
Ayumu did a really good job today; he started from P24 and had made his way up into P13 when a rider ahead crashed into him. It’s a great shame for him because he was doing so well and in the points at his home GP. It was absolutely not his fault and there was nothing he could have done about it.”

#7 Adam Norrodin DNF

“I had a very good feeling on my bike from morning warm up and we finished the session third.
I made a good start in the race but then was pushed wide in third corner. I stayed calm and just focussed on making up positions; I knew with these conditions I had to break away from the group I was in and get to the front because when you are behind in the wet it’s so difficult to see. I was trying really hard to fight and then suddenly I was in sixth position. At this point I knew it was better to just keep my rhythm and bring home a good result. A few laps later I high-sided really hard; I don’t even know how it happened. I’m so disappointed and so sorry for my team. We need to go over the data now to see what happened. I really think I could have caught the front group.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki DNF

“This Grand Prix has been quite difficult with it raining all weekend but I have really learned a lot.
I’ve never rode in the wet like this, so it’s been a tough learning curve but I’m pleased that we’ve had this experience; I feel confident that I will be better in these conditions next time.
In the race I had a good feeling on the bike straight away. I made a good start and gained eight positions. When I made it to 13th place I could see the other front group; from there I thought I could catch them. I was pushing to close the gap when the rider in front of me crashed and hit me. It was a racing incident. I’m disappointed but also happy that I had the pace to ride there. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to fight in the front though, so we have to work on this and improve for the next race. We have three races left this year so I hope I can learn more for the next year ready for the new season.”

NORRODIN AND SASAKI REDAY TO BATTLE AT MOTEGI

Twin Ring Motegi, Japan– Saturday 14th October

Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
Circuit Length: 4.8 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P13; 2’10.538 – 16 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P24; 2’11.298 – 16 laps

SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix from the fifth and eighth row, after qualifying in 13th [Adam] and 24th [Ayumu] position today.

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager

“Every session this weekend so far has been wet. We’ve had a few crashes with both riders testing their limits in the tricky conditions.
Adam had a tough but good qualifying; he worked hard to improve and at the end of the day finished thirteenth, which is a decent position for tomorrow’s race. I think he can fight hard here and has a strong possibility to do very well.
We were expecting more from Ayumu today, here at his home race and especially after a solid FP3 this morning. It’s disappointing but as it looks now it will continue raining tomorrow, so we just have to keep working and see if we can further improve in morning warm up. Then it’s down to Ayumu to push hard and do his best in the race.”

#7 Adam Norrodin

“This morning we made really good progress in FP3 and I was improving nearly every lap in the final minutes but then on my last lap I was pushing so hard I crashed. Nevertheless I went into qualifying feeling confident. We started really well and at one point I was fifth. We stayed in the top ten throughout the first half of the session. When I returned to the box we didn’t change anything with the bike, not even the tyres.
I made some good laps in the second half of qualifying but I also had some big moments on the bike, which held me back. In the end we finished P13 which is not such a disaster because we still have a chance to do well tomorrow. I’m a little disappointed because I know I could have done even better but anyway the race is what I have to focus on now; I’m ready to fight hard.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“In FP3 we found a really good setting and we finished the session twelfth.
In qualifying we made some further improvements again and the bike felt even better during my first outing. At this point I was riding in a group and going at their pace, so I struggled to really go and get into a good rhythm.

When I came back in we changed to new tyres. I had a good feeling with the bike but unfortunately this afternoon I made too many mistakes; I couldn’t put together one consistent lap. I’m disappointed with QP but we have found a good race pace here, so I know I can ride at the front, I just have to get myself up there and with the leaders as soon as possible; I have to be very strong on the first few laps!

The forecast for tomorrow is rain but I don’t mind because we have found a good wet setting for our bike. I have confidence for tomorrow.”

SASAKI AND NORRODIN TAKE TOP TWELVE ON DAY ONE AT MOTEGI

Twin Ring Motegi, Japan– Friday 13th October

Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
Circuit Length: 4.8 km

Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
FP1: P7; 2’11.105 – 15 laps
FP2: P26; 2’14.298 –7 laps

Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
FP1: P11; 2’11.526 – 15 laps
FP2: P20; 2’13.645 – 12 laps

Day one on track at Twin Ring Motegi saw SIC Racing Team riders Adam Norrodin and Ayumu Sasaki test the wet conditions to their limits, concluding practice in 8th [Adam] and 12th [Ayumu] place overall.

#7 Adam Norrodin
“I’m very happy to be back at Motegi; I have a really good feeling with this track. From the start I have felt very focussed to get a good result here.
The weather has not been so great today with a lot of rain but I just concentrated on doing laps alone and finding my rhythm. We had a good first session and made a lot of progress. I kept pushing myself more to see how far I could go and in the end we finished the session 7th.
In FP2 the conditions were quite different although it was still wet and I could feel straight away that the grip was less than before. I tried to stay calm but then in the last corner I made a mistake; I took it too tight and crashed in Turn 14. My mechanics did an excellent job repairing my bike and getting me back out on track for the remaining ten minutes. Unfortunately this wasn’t long enough to make a significant improvement in my lap time but I was still able to build my confidence back up and make a solid plan for the qualifying tomorrow.”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“In FP1 we had quite a good feeling on the bike. At the beginning we were not so fast but we continued to work on our set-up and in the end we finished 11th. We had a good pace, so I was happy.
FP2 felt very different and I struggled to get back up to speed. I didn’t have the same feeling as I had in FP1, I don’t know why, so I just took things step by step. We tried a new tyre but I still wasn’t able to improve. I continued to keep pushing a little but then on the lap that I crashed I was trying to catch a rider who just passed me and I lost the front. This was disappointing but overall we are 12th today. The bike is working well and I feel confident ahead of the qualifying tomorrow.”