18.10.2020 | news

Incredible ride to fifth for McPhee at MotorLand Aragón

John McPhee battles back from penalty to end Aragon GP fifth; Khairul Idham Pawi 27th

Despite having to take a long lap penalty, handed out after qualifying, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee put in a sensational ride to finish the Aragon GP fifth. Team-mate KIP had a difficult day at MotorLand Aragón and crossed the line 27th.
 
McPhee made a steady start to the Moto3 race, but soon put the hammer down and was the fastest man on circuit. The Scot took his long lap penalty on lap three, which saw him fall from eighth to 17th. Fighting back through the field to join the leading group, John was in the podium battle until two laps to go when he ran wide at Turn 1. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to re-join the fight for the top-three and finished fifth. McPhee finished in front of his rivals for the championship and maintains fifth in the overall standings.
 
Team-mate KIP didn’t have the best of starts and found himself losing places into the opening corners. The Malaysian battled hard aboard his Honda NSF250RW to regain his position in the pack, and was able to bridge the gap to the riders ahead. At the end of the 19 laps KIP crossed the finish line 27th.
 
McPhee and KIP will only have days to wait before they are back out on track at MotorLand Aragón for the Gran Premio de Teruel (23-25 October), the final event in the October triple-header.

 

Johan Stigefelt

That was a really good race from John today. We had the long lap penalty, so we tried this morning in Warm Up to see how to take it the fastest way possible. It was good that it came up early in the race, on lap three, and when he rejoined he was 17th. He put his head down, rode extremely well, the lap times were amazing and he was able to catch the front group. It was unlucky that he had a moment in Turn 1 with two laps to go and lost contact with the group. However, finishing fifth today feels like a victory after the penalty, poor qualifying and recent race results. We needed to do well today and he did this.
 
It was another tough race for KIP. We need to analyse with him to see what we can do for next weekend. It isn’t easy for KIP or the team to be in this position. He is struggling and suffering, so it's a hard moment for him, but we will keep working and see what we can find for the next race.

 

John McPhee

It was a tough fight today, especially with the long lap penalty as I dropped to 17th. I then just tried to make my way forward, which was tough. Originally I thought about tyre management but after the long lap I just pushed as hard as I could every lap. I was really happy with my rhythm and I was able to catch the front group with ease. Once I got there I struggled a little to have that edge to be in the fight. Then on the second to last lap I lost the group but I’m really happy to be P5 today. It’s some good points on the board and it shows that we’ve got a good rhythm. I’m just looking forward to the race next week now.

 

Khairul Idham Pawi

It has been a tough race. I struggled with the same issues from qualifying in the race today, I had some chattering in the fast corners and it meant that I couldn’t ride how I wanted to. Every time I tried, I experienced the chattering and it was so difficult to keep to the good lines. I wasn’t able to keep a good speed and I lost contact with the group early on. The good point is that the next race will again be at the same circuit, so we will already have data to work with. Hopefully we will find the way to improve for next weekend.

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