Sasaki and McPhee begin private three-day test at Sepang

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders continue set-up work on their Moto3 machines at Sepang International Circuit.

The 2019 preseason got underway in earnest today for Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee, with the first day of a three-day private test at the Sepang International Circuit. Today was an opportunity for the pair to establish a base setting for their machines, before making gradual alterations over 51 laps for Sasaki and 38 laps in the case of McPhee.

Ayumu Sasaki returned to action after three months without riding a Moto3 bike, the Japanese rider adapting to the updates made to the machine this year by Honda, including a new engine. Sasaki and his technical crew focused their efforts on the chassis, geometry and balance of the bike with satisfactory results.

His teammate John McPhee began his adaptation to a new Moto3 steed, which is different to the bike he rode last season. The Scotsman has plenty of work to do and started the process today with his efforts focused on finding a base set-up and optimum riding position. At the end of the day he spent a few laps pushing for a fast time around the Malaysian circuit and he was satisfied with the outcome.

The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders have two more days on track at the Sepang International Circuit to continue their work at this private test.

#71 Ayumu Sasaki

“I really enjoyed this first day, having not ridden a bike for three months I was very excited to get back out on the new bike and start working with my new crew chief and the other new team members. I felt good although it took a while for me to get a feeling and the lap time was slower than I hoped. It was the usual first day and after lunch I started to get back my feeling from last year. In the end I was only able to complete one lap on a new tyre so I wasn’t able to take too much off the lap time, but I did still improve on my last run. Overall it has been a good day, we have two more and lot of work to do, so tomorrow we will come back focused and ready to do the best job we can.”

#17 John McPhee

“I am very satisfied with the first day here at Sepang. Today was a successful first day, working with the new bike and trying to understand all the new parts that HRC have brought. In the first half of the day we worked a lot on my position on the bike and trying to find a good base setting, although what Honda brought for 2019 already worked pretty well. After the lunch break we didn’t go down one particular route, just tried a few different things and ruled out whatever didn’t work. At the end of the session we put some new tyres in and managed to set a good lap times, which was one of my objectives for today. So far everything is going well and I am looking forward to completing more tests with the bike over the next two days. I am also really happy with how the team is working.”