22.05.2020 | news

John McPhee: My First…

That first time on a bike is one that isn’t easily forgotten. It's the moment in time when you that, as soon as you can, you’re going to be riding them. For some, it signals the start of a career in motorcycle racing.

We caught up with each of our riders to find out what their first biking memory was and learnt about some of their other biking firsts. This time, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 rider John McPhee reveals his biking firsts…

 

First Biking Memory…

My first biking memory is from when I was about three years old. I was sat on the front of my Dad’s old Honda CR250 and he took me up an old road near to the house. I remember being really excited but really scared at the same time. From that moment on I knew that as soon as it was possible I wanted to ride a bike myself.

 

First Race…

My first ever race was when I was five years old and was at the Oban Youth Motocross Club, with a Yamaha PW50. My dad had raced there so I had been going along to watch his races; I had to wait until I was five because then I was old enough to compete. I had four races that day. In that very first race I was fifth or sixth. My first race on road bikes was at East Fortune, on an Aprilia RS125 in 2007. Again there were four races that day and the current Scottish Champion at the time was racing. I had three second place finishes and then in the final race of the day, which was also the final race of the 2007 championship, I won my first ever road race and beat the champion – that was a good memory.

 

First Podium…

My first podium came during that first race day when I was five. In the final race of that day I actually had my first win! The podiums back then were a little different to the official podiums now though. They were wooden boxes, made of crates or pallets, but it still gave you a great sense of achievement.

 

First Time of the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 bike…

The first time I rode the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Honda was at the end of 2018 in the Valencia test. It was great for me because it was the first time ever in my career that I had the opportunity to ride the bike that I would be riding the following season already in November. It was really nice because in 2017 I was on a Honda, but then 2018 I had a difficult year trying to learn a new bike. I came off the back of a podium in Valencia and it was great to go back testing with a new team and back to a Honda. We finished the two days really happy and really excited for the following season.

 

First Racing Hero…

My first racing hero was Steve Hislop. I first came across him in British Superbikes in 2002 I think, so I was only seven years old. We were at a British Championship race and one of my friends was already a fan of his. We went to try to speak to him and get an autograph. He actually took us aside and let us in to see his pit box, showed us his leathers and helmets in his motorhome, things like that. From that moment on he’s been a huge hero of mine. Obviously I was too young to really know how he was as a person but I was very sad when he passed away. He’s someone who I always think back to when I see young people come to support me at races.

 

First Racing Rivalry…

Taking motocross aside as that was all local riders, my first proper racing rivalry was in 2008 with Ewan Gray. We battled all year for the Scottish Championship but I finally managed to win the championship that year.

 

First Racing Friendship…

My first racing friendship was with Matthew Shellcock. I first met Matt when I was twelve years old and I went to do my race licence application at Knockhill Circuit. Matt was also there as he was going to do his test the week after me, so he was there trying to get a feel for how it was. It’s quite funny because we actually only lived 15 minutes from each other, but we first met at a racetrack two hours away from home. Matt and I are really good friends, we still see each other often and we used to train together when Matt was still racing. The friendship is still going strong now!

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