Brno, Czech Republic – Saturday 5th August
Circuit: Automotodrom Brno
Circuit Length: 5.4 km
Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P25; 2’10.176 – 13 laps
Bike #71 – Ayumu Sasaki
QP: P11; 2’09.348 – 12 laps
As the sun finally arrived at the Czech circuit, SIC Racing Team rider Ayumu Sasaki showed strong form in the dry conditions, qualifying for tomorrow’s nineteen lap race in 11th position.
Despite a high speed crash in morning practice, Sasaki remained calm and confident as the qualifying session got underway. Exuding focus the sixteen-year-old rookie pushed hard from the start, immediately placing himself within the top ten. Improving up until his final lap, Sasaki’s efforts to better his time rewarded him with a solid fourth row start and his best qualifying position of the year.
Adam Norrodin experienced a rollercoaster of emotions today; after concluding yesterday’s practice sessions in third place, the Malaysian was confident of carrying his momentum into qualifying but a crash early on into morning practice brought with it a disappointing sequence of events. Returning on track the eighteen-year-old struggled to regain his rhythm in the dry conditions. Unable to find the right set-up for the #7 machine, Norrodin concluded a difficult day in a disappointing 25th position.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“Today has been dry all day which was good, following two wet sessions yesterday.
Unfortunately FP3 didn’t start well for Adam who had a crash, which was not good for his confidence. For the remainder of practice he was unable to post any strong lap times and this harmed him in qualifying. We did quite a big change with his bike before, which helped a little bit, but his confidence wasn’t there 100%. I think we need to find something with the bike to help him with this. Right now it looks like there will be rain tomorrow, which would certainly be good for Adam because for sure he could then fight his way up into the points, which we are targeting.
It’s been a good weekend so far for Ayumu. He really impressed us in qualifying and did the best he’s done all year. This weekend he’s really shown a different level of focus and determination, so with his 11th place start, I think he can do very well tomorrow. He has a good pace, he feels good on the bike and he looks strong overall, so whether it’s dry or wet in the race, I know he can fight at the front.”
#7 Adam Norrodin
“I’m disappointed to be starting the race tomorrow from so far back. In FP3 this morning we crashed very early into the session; I think this was mostly my fault because I want too fast into the corner. I really wanted to do well but I went out too hot. The mechanics quickly fixed the bike but when I went back out I didn’t feel very good on the bike. My lap times were slow and I struggled to progress.
For qualifying we made some big changes to the set-up which was better, but still I felt like it was missing something. In the end I really tried to push hard but I couldn’t get what I wanted from the bike. Two times I nearly crashed and this set me back. It’s frustrating because we can see from my ideal lap time that I can do so much better. For tomorrow they say it may rain but nothing is for certain. The most important thing now is that I find a good feeling on the bike in Warm Up and then with this confidence I know I can do well. It will be a tough race starting from 25th place but I’m ready to fight.”
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“In FP3 I felt really good but then I made a mistake and crashed. I couldn’t ride again after the crash but the lap time I had done was quite good so I was able to finish in 15th. The start of qualifying was very difficult because of the traffic and also because I had a soft tyre in, which didn’t work so well for me. In the last outing we changed to a medium tyre and it felt much better. It was again very busy on track but this time I was able to pass some riders and push harder for a better time. I’m happy to have qualified in 11th place but I feel like I can still do more. Today has been good and we have many positives for tomorrow; in the race I want to fight for the top six.”