22.11.2020 | news
McPhee rounds out 2020 Moto3 season with top-ten Portugal finish
John McPhee ends Portuguese GP ninth; Khairul Idham Pawi 28th in final race with PETRONAS Sprinta RacingAn intense battle in the closing laps of the Grande Prémio de Portugal ended with John McPhee taking ninth at the final Moto3 race of 2020. With a double long lap penalty to serve, KIP’s last race with PETRONAS Sprinta Racing was a tough one at Algarve International Circuit, which ended with a 28th place finish.
McPhee, who started the Portuguese GP 19th, lost one place heading into the first corner of the race, but was able to move up into 13th in the opening six laps. After moving inside the top-ten on lap nine, the Scot battled hard with those around him to retain his position after slipping backwards momentarily. An intense battle in the final laps ended with McPhee crossing the finish line ninth. John ends the 2020 season 7th in the championship with 131 points.
It was a tough final race of the season for team-mate KIP, who had to take a double long lap after picking up a penalty in FP2 on Friday. The Malaysian had a good start, maintaining his 21st place off the line, but the opening laps saw him drop to 27th. After serving his penalty, it became a quiet race for KIP as he tried to close the gap to those riders ahead. He took the chequered flag in his final race with the team in 28th place.
The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing squad will now be able to enjoy a period of rest, before preparations start for the 2021 season.
That was the last Moto3 race of the year and it was a fun one to watch. It was a hard fight for John, but I enjoyed watching it and it was nice to end the season like this. We were looking for a higher position but he did a good race, enjoyed himself and managed a lot of overtakes. This track creates a lot of action. We haven’t ended the season how we wanted as our target in the championship was higher, but it is what it is. We lost points in the final races but we know the team, and John, have the capacity to go further, which is what we’ll be looking for next year.
KIP had a good qualifying session yesterday, his best of the year, but unfortunately two long laps prevented him from being able to fight with the group today. It’s a shame, because he had a good feeling with the bike but I’m happy that he’s been able to have a good race with a good feeling. Thank you to KIP, it’s been a tough two years but I wish him all the best for the future.
It was a really exciting race! To fight from 19th to P9 was hard work but I enjoyed my last race of 2020. I would have liked a slightly better finish in the final race of the year. Overall though we’ve had some massive highs this season, and a couple of lows, but we’ve been fast at every race track. I want to say a massive thank you to all the crew because they’ve done a great job all year. We know we have a couple of areas to work on but now we’ll enjoy our time off, spend time with family and friends, before resetting to come back even stronger next year.
Also it’s been really good to have KIP as a team-mate this year, as he’s such a nice guy. It's a shame not to continue with him next year but I wish him all the best for the future. Thanks for everything this year KIP!
Khairul Idham Pawi
The race was really difficult as the two long laps I had to do meant it was hard to catch back up with the pack. The first lap wasn’t too bad but then I had to take the long laps. After this I was alone on track, but then I was with [Gabriel] Rodrigo. I tried to stay with him but in the last three laps I struggled a lot with the rear tyre, there was a lot of vibration. Anyway, today the most important thing is to say thank you to the team for these two years. Thank you for helping me so much at every moment, from the beginning of the season and all year. I’ve enjoyed being a part of it and I wish them all the best for the future.