Ayumu Sasaki to replace injured Bastianini at Sepang. Di Giannantonio hunting for points

The Gresini Racing Team Moto3 is preparing to face this weekend the last race of the intense flyaway “triple header”, the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

After the incident in which he was involved in the early stages of the Australian Grand Prix, and in which he sustained the fracture of the T9 vertebra and of one rib, Enea Bastianini will not take to the track aboard his Honda NSF250RW machine this weekend: the goal of the 18-year-old rider from Rimini is to get in full shape for the final race of the season in Valencia , in order to defend the second place in the Championship. The team opted to replace Bastianini with 16-year-old Japanese talent Ayumu Sasaki, winner of the 2016 Red Bull Rookies Cup.

On the other side of the garage, Fabio Di Giannantonio is instead determined to make up for the disappointment suffered at Phillip Island, where he was faultlessly involved in a racing incident after only 4 laps. The target of the 18-year-old rookie from Rome, at his first visit on the Malaysian circuit, is to enter the fight for the top ten position to get valuable points for the Championship, which sees him in the fight for the “Rookie of the Year” trophy.


“Unfortunately I won’t race here at Sepang: my physical condition is improving, but it’s better not to take too much risks. It’s a pity being not able to get on track, but the priority now is to arrive to Valencia in full form, where we will defend the second position in the Championship: it will depend a lot on the result that Navarro will manage to get in this race, but the positive thing is that we can count on a good lead of 21 points in the standings. Immediately after the accident I felt a lot of pain and I struggled to walk, so I was a bit demoralized, but now the situation is improving day by day, so I’m sure that doing a good rehabilitation program we can get prepared to race in Valencia”.


“Many riders told me that the Sepang race is one of the hardest of the season because of the heat. A whole new situation for me: for the first time I will face such a torrid climate and, exactly as happened in Japan and in Australia, I don’t know the track. However, we are confident that we can do well: the goal is to try to stay in the top ten and have a good race, the one that unfortunately I was not able to do in Australia because of the accident occurred in the early laps. The situation in the fight to win the Rookie of the Year trophy actually remained unchanged, so hopefully I can get a good result here, then we’ll see how it goes in Valencia!”.


“Obviously I’m very sorry that Bastianini will not race here, because he could defend the advantage on Navarro in the Championship. Enea will still be able to fight in Valencia, so now the priority is to let him recover in the best possible way ahead of the final race on the calendar. Given the absence of Enea we decided together with HRC to give an opportunity to Sasaki, winner of the MotoGP Rookies Cup. We are pleased to let such a young talented rider live this experience”.

Ayumu Sasaki to replace injured Bastianini at Sepang. Di Giannantonio hunting for points - Gresini Racing