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.”