14.11.2020 | news

Challenging Moto3 qualifying conditions for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing at Valencia

John McPhee to start penultimate Moto3 race of 2020 16th; Khairul Idham Pawi 28th

Tricky conditions proved to be the theme of the day for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, with light rain showers affecting the day’s Moto3 sessions. John McPhee will start the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana from 16th on the grid, with team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi 28th.

 

Light rain in FP3 prevented McPhee from challenging for a direct to Q2 place, with riders unable to improve upon their times from yesterday. The Scot ended the session ninth with a 1min 39.889secs lap, but stayed 21st overall. Despite tricky Q1 conditions, with light rain falling again, John made it through to Q2, after setting a 1min 39.996secs lap. Despite setting his fastest lap of the weekend – 1min 38.990secs – in Q2, the tight times meant that McPhee ended qualifying 16th.

 

Team-mate KIP also stayed in the garage for most of FP3, with the rain too heavy to improve times and not wet enough to head out on wet tyres to gather data. He ended FP3 30th with a 1min 41.128secs lap, remaining 26th overall. KIP struggled in the mixed conditions of Q1, similar to those experienced in FP3, and set a 1min 42.774secs lap, which will see him start the Valencia GP from 28th on the grid.

 

Tomorrow’s Moto3 action will begin at 9am local time (4pm MYT) with Warm Up, before the 23-lap race gets underway at 11am local time (6pm MYT).

 

John McPhee

It’s been a strange day with the weather. We had very difficult conditions in Q1 because of the rain coming early, but we were fast enough to go through to Q2. I set my fastest lap of the weekend in Q2, the lap times were extremely close, but the position is not what we wanted. We’ve been working this weekend to try some new things, but we couldn’t make the most of what we found in qualifying. We have some work to do tomorrow as one lap pace around Valencia hasn’t been my strongest point this weekend, but I’ve been very consistent with my lap time so I think we can be strong towards the end of the race tomorrow.

 

Khairul Idham Pawi

The small drops of rain made qualifying difficult today: I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, I set my lap times alone and it was difficult to know where the limit was. There was one point where I nearly crashed as the track still had some wet patches. Hopefully tomorrow will be better and we can improve our position in the race. Our pace in the dry yesterday wasn’t bad, everyone had similar lap times and I think we just need another small step to be able to stay within the main group. We will try a couple of things in Warm Up tomorrow and then see what happens in the race.

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