15.11.2020 | news
McPhee 11th in tough Valencia race
John McPhee ends penultimate Moto3 race of 2020 11th; Khairul Idham Pawi crashes out
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee battled hard under the Spanish sun at Circuit Ricardo Tormo to cross the finish line just outside of the top-ten in 11th. Team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi unfortunately crashed out of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana with two laps to go.
McPhee made a steady start from 16th on the grid and claimed one position going into the first corners of the race, before another rider forced him to lose places. After a brief mid-field battle, the Scot moved into the top-ten on lap eight. Unfortunately the fight for position allowed the riders in front to create a gap, which John was unable to reduce. At the chequered flag, McPhee crossed the line 11th.
Team-mate KIP didn’t have the best of starts to his Valencia GP and lost places off the line. Finding himself adrift of the main field, the Malaysian struggled to close the gap to those riders in front. Despite trying his hardest aboard his Honda NSF250RW, KIP was unable to re-join the field and crashed out at Turn 2 with two laps to go.
McPhee and KIP will now head straight to Portugal for the final round of the 2020 Moto3 season: the Grande Prémio de Portugal at the Algarve International Circuit (20-22 November).
It was a tough weekend and we didn't quite have the pace that we wanted. We need to work on this and make sure that we are strong from FP1 all the way through until the chequered flag on Sunday. The race was tough for John as there was someone else riding irresponsibly in the first couple of laps and it meant he lost some positions. He wasn’t able to make his way back in front after that.
It was a difficult race for KIP and he crashed at the end of it, which didn't make it any better for him. It was hard to learn anything from this race, as he was unable to ride within the pack but it is what it is. We move on from it and look forward now to the last race of the year.
Starting from P16 was always going to be difficult, but my start wasn’t bad. I made my way to the back of the front group but another rider hit me on the straight and I nearly crashed. I lost several positions and ended up at the back of the second group. I had to fight my way back to the front. My pace was faster than those around me, but it was really hard to defend on the start-finish straight. Lap-by-lap we were catching them but the gap was just too big to close. It's disappointing because my race pace was okay; we were just too far back. Not the best weekend but I am looking forward to a completely different circuit with Portimão next weekend.
Khairul Idham Pawi
It hasn’t been a great day: I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, crashed in Warm Up and then again in the race. It was a difficult race and I felt like I didn’t have the pace to stay with the other riders. I lost the front of the bike in the second corner with a couple of laps to go, which isn’t a good way to finish the day. We still have one race to go this year, so I hope we can have a better weekend there and finish the season with a good result.