Husqvarna Motorcycles emerge from the fifteenth MotoGP fixture of the year with a strong podium result at MotorLand.
After a busy week in San Marino, 2022 MotoGP moved west across Europe and to the modern and scenic MotorLand Aragon circuit for the penultimate European date on the current calendar. Two weeks earlier than usual – and benefitting from warmer late summer weather – the ‘Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón’ saw Moto3 hustle around the 5.1km layout that involves a wide mix of fast, slow, open, tight and technical corners.
Determined to bounce back from his DNF in Italy, Ayumu Sasaki was in a competitive mood from the outset in Spain and narrowly missed out on Pole Position in Q2 on Saturday. John McPhee was also up to speed quickly and qualified in 5th place, in the middle of the second row of the grid with his FR 250 GP machine.
Sunday morning was overcast in Aragon and cooler compared to the two previous days but Sasaki was hot to bounce from the lights and into the small lead group of three with Izan Guevara and Daniel Holgado for company. McPhee was part of the second posse and challenging for the top five. Sasaki stalked Guevara as the pair dropped Holgado in the final stages of the chase but the Spaniard remained error-free and the Japanese was not able to strike. The gap was less than a second at the chequered flag and Sasaki laid his hands on a sixth trophy of the season as runner-up.
McPhee ran wide at almost mid-race distance into Turn 1 and lost almost ten places but stretched the throttle cable to get back into the thick of the second group. He was able to finish fractions of a second ahead of Xavi Artigas in the charge to the line and salvaged a top ten ranking.
Sasaki is eying the top three of the world championship. He continues to hold 4th position but is only 13 points away from Dennis Foggia. McPhee gained 6 points and is 18th in the Riders’ list. Ayumu can now look forward to his first home event in three years. The Motul Grand Prix of Japan will occur at the Mobility Resort Motegi circuit in just seven days time.
Ayumu Sasaki: “Today I gave my best. Izan was just a bit faster. I was following him and trying to save tyres but he was quicker in the last three laps. So I stayed calm and took 2nd, which I though was better after a disappoint last race. A good result, I’m happy to be on the podium again and now we go to Japan: I cannot wait for my home Grand Prix.”
John McPhee: “I felt really strong but we had a couple of issues. The first three were a bit too strong but I felt I could have been better in the second group. I jumped out of gear and lost positions but recovered. I couldn’t quite be there on the last lap. I had speed and I could overtake so I’ll take the positives from today into Motegi.”
Results – 2022 Moto3 World Championship, Round 15
1. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) 37:29.944, 2. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) +0.957, 3. Daniel Holgado (KTM) +6.536, 10. John McPhee (Husqvarna) +17.071
Moto3 world championship standings
1. Izan Guevara (GASGAS) 229pts, 2. Sergio Garcia (GASGAS) 196, 3. Dennis Foggia (Honda) 171. 4. Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna) 158, 18. John McPhee (Husqvarna) 53