Sasaki and McPhee complete first test as 2019 comes into focus

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders complete two-day test at Valencia with good results and plenty of motivation for next season.

PETRONAS Sprinta Racing have completed their first test of the 2019 Moto3 preseason, with two days on track at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, before closing the book on 2018. Ayumu Sasaki, ready for his third season with the team, and new signing John McPhee have enjoyed two satisfactory days on track and are now looking forward and motivated for 2019.

Unlike the recent Grand Prix at this circuit the conditions for the test were dry, with just a little wind on Tuesday. Sasaki completed a total of 98 laps, citing his improved corner exit speed as one of his main reasons for optimism ahead of 2019. McPhee was also impressed with his first outing with his new team, the British rider completing 100 laps and setting a strong rhythm that also gives him high hopes for next year.

Sasaki and McPhee will now enjoy a winter break before returning to action in earnest in February 2019.


Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We have spent two days of tests with the Moto3 team here in Valencia and the weather has been good. It was particularly important for John [McPhee] to rediscover his feeling with the Honda, after a season with another manufacturer, and he also got to know his new team. We have improved the bike little by little and today he put together a really good run riding alone. I think that after this test, McPhee can go to Malaysia in good shape to continue his work.

For Ayumu [Sasaki] it has been a good opportunity to work with his new crew chief and get a better feeling. Today he was quite quick and he’s satisfied with the performance of the bike. The idea was to keep gradually changing things as he adapted and got more comfortable, especially in braking. Thanks to everybody for all the hard work. Now we’re all looking forward to trying out the new bike in 2019!”

#71 Ayumu Sasaki
“The two days of tests here have gone very well. We have tried a lot of things and got used to riding the bike in the dry again, after hardly having any dry time during the Grand Prix. The weather has been good and it has helped us to find a good feeling. We have improved our corner exit a lot, which is the best thing we will take away from Valencia, and the lap times at the end of the second day were pretty good. Now we are going to take a little rest before preparations begin again for next season, which I hope will be a great one. I was able to ride with John [McPhee] on the second day and we are working well together, so I think we can achieve great things for the team. I can’t wait for 2019!”

#17 John McPhee
“Overall our first test has been very successful. I’m going into the winter positive with my feeling from the Honda and really happy with my new crew. My pace was strong over the last two days and with more pre-season testing I feel like I can be very strong come the first round in Qatar.”