25.10.2020 | news
McPhee takes sixth in Moto3 melee at MotorLand Aragón
John McPhee ends Gran Premio de Teruel sixth, Khairul Idham Pawi 27th
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee put in another masterful performance at MotorLand Aragón, to end the frenzied race sixth, after starting 17th on the grid. After serving a long lap penalty, team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi ended the Gran Premio de Teruel 27th.
McPhee had a good start, moving immediately up to 13th and into the top-ten by the beginning of the second lap. The Scot held position towards the front of the leading pack, which contained most of the Moto3 field, until a near-highside on lap 10 dropped him outside of the top-ten. Increasing the pace to move into the top-three, John was unfortunately punted wide on the final lap and crossed the line sixth. McPhee now also sits sixth in the riders’ standings.
It proved to be a difficult day for team-mate KIP, who had to serve a long lap penalty, due to a rule infringement in qualifying yesterday. Once the Malaysian had completed his long lap, he found himself adrift of the main field. Although he couldn’t find his way back to the pack, he was able to catch and pass Max Kofler to finish the 19-lap race 27th.
There will now be a one-week break for the Moto3 duo, before the final triple-header gets underway with the Gran Premio de Europa (6-8 November) – the first of two back-to-back events at Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
It was a tough race for John, starting from 17th, but we know that he had a good race pace, as we went back to our base setting today. John had a great start, plus he was fast and aggressive throughout. He was in a good place and had a plan for the final lap, but he was overtaken by two riders and it was a bit of a shake up for him. So it wasn’t an ideal last lap but he was really close and he rode a great race. It was nerve-wracking to watch, but to finish in the top places was a good result for him.
It was also difficult for KIP: he started at the back and had his long lap penalty, which really didn’t help. It was more of a race to get through and complete for him today, and use the laps to figure some more things out with the bike.
I was really happy to be able to move forward, we knew starting from 17th that it was always going to be difficult. I had a good start, was able to make it towards the front quite quickly. I then had a big moment in the last corner and had to do all the work over again, because I dropped down to around 12th again. To be able to recover to P2 and be in the top-three for the last five laps was really nice. I was a little bit unlucky on the final lap, getting passed aggressively a few times and then pushed wide, which dropped me to P6. I dug deep on the last lap but wasn’t able to recover these positions with only a few corners to go. The good thing is that we were strong all race and had the same pace as the winner. We’ll look to continue this form at the final three races.
Khairul Idham Pawi
It was a difficult race starting from the back, I had some issues with the bike under braking and I had the long lap penalty, which dropped me from the group. I was able to do a consistent lap time with the hard tyre in today’s race though. Maybe the softer tyre would have given more grip, but I wanted to try the harder compound to gain more data on it and this was a good opportunity for that. Of course I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to do more today, but we have three races to go now so hopefully we can be stronger there and fix the issues we’ve had here.