21.11.2020 | news

Mixed Portugal Moto3 qualifying for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing

John McPhee and Khairul Idham Pawi to start Portuguese GP 19th and 21st

Qualifying at Algarve International Circuit turned out to be a mixed affair for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing, with John McPhee starting from 19th after missing out on Q2 by just 0.010secs. Team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi, however had his best qualifying of 2020 and will start the Grande Prémio de Portugal from 21st, sharing the seventh row of the grid with McPhee.
 
McPhee was one of the first riders in FP3 to improve upon their time set yesterday, which put him in the top-three. Unfortunately, with riders bunched in the final minutes, John missed out on a direct Q2 place by just 0.039secs, finishing 16th with a 1min 48.310secs lap. After putting in a series of strong laps in Q1, the Scot looked set to make it through to Q2 but agonisingly missed out by just 0.010secs, after posting a 1min 48.488secs lap, so will start the final race of the year from 19th.
 
The start of FP3 saw team-mate KIP post a time that placed him in the top-ten on the timing screens. The Malaysian battled hard to improve further but ended the session 22nd with a 1min 48.760secs lap, placing him 24th overall. Like his team-mate, KIP also had a good start to Q2 and posted times that kept him at the sharp end of the timing screens. KIP ended the session seventh with a time of 1min 48.592secs, which converts to a 21st place grid slot for tomorrow’s race - the best starting position of his 2020 season.
 
Tomorrow’s Warm Up session for John and KIP will begin at 9am local time (5pm MYT), before the final 21-lap Moto3 race of 2020 gets underway at 11am local time (7pm MYT).

 

John McPhee

I’m not happy with our result today because I feel like I haven’t been able to show our true potential. I did my flying lap completely alone and the lap time was good, if you look at Q2 it would have been enough for the front two rows. In Q1 there was a big group of riders all using the slipstream, which was the reason why we missed out on going through to Q2. Tomorrow is the last race, we are sure to enjoy it a lot and we’ll be fighting from the start to hopefully be near the front for the final laps. With the long straight after the last corner I think we can expect to have one big group in the race, however it’s hard to know because we’ve never had a race here. We’ll see tomorrow and I’ll try my best to make my way forward.

 

Khairul Idham Pawi

This last qualifying of the year has been quite positive for me; I felt quite good and we were quite close to the top riders. I struggled a little bit on corner exit, so we are going to change something on the bike tomorrow morning to help with this. It’s the last race of the year tomorrow so I’ll be trying to do my best and end with a good result. I think tomorrow will be a tough race, as it is the first Moto3 race here and I have a double long lap penalty, but I hope I can have a good group battle and try to finish within that group. It would be really nice to end the season with a good result.

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