Ayumu takes superb sixth despite double raceday penalty

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The news of the double penalty imposed on Ayumu Sasaki would have done for most riders, but Ayumu made an incredible recovery. Without any mistakes and, after starting from the last row on the grid, he recovered twenty positions and got the sixth position at the finish line.

The penalty imposed on Ayumu comes from an action contested by Race Direction during free practice 3. In fact in the afternoon, well beyond the end of the session, a report to Race Direction brought to light a questionable action, reason of the double penalty inflicted on Ayumu: starting from the last row and long lap penalty. Ayumu in fact during the FP3, when he was looking for his best time, found himself behind three drivers who slowed down suddenly. Ayumu actually found his trajectory blocked and, having no space to pass, he had to slow down. Following this action, Race Direction penalized Ayumu for his slowing down.

Ayumu was not discouraged and, starting from the twenty-sixth position, on the first lap he already recovered eight positions! During the third lap he was thirteenth and, at the end of the same lap, he served the long lap penalty, coming back in nineteenth position. He resumed his comeback and at the end of the fourth lap, he crossed the finish line in sixteenth position. His comeback did not have any setbacks and on the seventh lap, he was the fastest on track, passing the finish line in ninth position.

At that time, he was in a small group of three riders, separated by 1.5 seconds from the leading group, consisting of 6 riders. Ayumu continued his progression and on the eleventh lap, the gap was completely canceled. Ayumu continued his run, until he reached the fifth position. Unfortunately, in the last laps, due to the decay of the performance of the tires, he could no longer be so incisive, ending his comeback in sixth place and recovering twenty positions. An amazing result, which allows Ayumu to earn points for the world ranking, in which he is now in sixth position, with 55 points.

“I am satisfied with today’s result. Yesterday I received a penalty, so I had to start from the last positions and also serving a long lap penalty. I was close to give up, and even if I knew that I had a great pace to fight for the win, I did not know if I had enough pace to catch the front. I was a little bit worried yesterday, but the team did not give up, so I felt that I should have tried, and so I did. I was also surprised with my pace, because in the first 10 laps my pace was faster than what I expected. The team did a great job on the bike, I felt very good whit the setup, and really everything was perfect. I choose the soft tires and I stressed those a little bit too much in the beginning of the race in order to catch the riders at the front, but that was the main target today. In the last six laps I knew that I was struggling with the braking due to the conditions of the tires, so I calmed down and accepted the fact that today, fighting for the win was too risky. I knew that the group was only composed of six people, so I kept the calm. In the last lap Artigas passed me, so I finished p6. I think we had an amazing comeback and that makes me happy. Now we can focus for the next race to start in the front and fight for the win.