13.11.2020 | news
Positive penultimate 2020 GP start for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing
John McPhee 21st and Khairul Idham Pawi 26th on Moto3 Valencia GP opening day
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders were able to enjoy sunnier and drier conditions than last week at Circuit Ricardo Tormo with John McPhee and Khairul Idham Pawi ending the opening day of the Valencia GP 21st and 26th respectively.
With dry conditions FP1 proved to be a fast session, which did see McPhee break into the top three, but with riders separated by just hundredths of a second, his fastest lap of 1min 39.156secs put him 17th at the end of the session. FP2 also saw riders separated by the finest of margins, once the flying laps were completed at the end of the session. John’s 1min 39.083secs lap, which was only 0.604secs shy of the fastest rider, placed him 21st in FP2 and overall.
Team-mate KIP focused on his race pace and solving the grip issues experienced last weekend at the Valencia circuit in FP1. The Malaysian ended the session 30th with a best time of 1min 40.173secs. In FP2, KIP was able to make further progress and work with team-mate McPhee to test the slipstream effect. He ended the 40 minutes 24th with a 1min 39.320secs lap time, 0.841secs away from the top, ending the day 26th in the combined times.
Tomorrow’s Moto3 FP3 session will kick off at 10am local time (5pm MYT), with the first of the two qualifying sessions due to start at 1.15pm local time (8.15pm MYT).
We tried a couple of new things with the bike and managed to find something that’s working fairly well, but it meant that we had quite a few laps where we were testing things and made it difficult to be consistently fast. I’m quite happy with my lap times though because I was alone on track - no slipstream - when I did them and I set my fastest time around Valencia. It’s not enough to be at the front, it's very close though, and I think if I can just find one or two tenths we’ll be in good shape. I’ve found a really good rhythm and we can see that we have done some good work towards the race. We need to have a big push in FP3 to try and go directly to Q2, hopefully we can work together with KIP as a team to find those extra tenths in a slipstream. Then we’ll see what happens in qualifying.
Khairul Idham Pawi
At the beginning of FP2 I was working on race pace and then did the flying laps in the final few minutes. The lap time was not bad but the times were very close today, we were only 0.841secs away from the fastest time. We have improved the grip a lot today and I feel comfortable on the bike, confident that we have made progress. I was working with John as well, to help each other with the slipstream, and it was good. The position isn’t the best, but I’m happy with the lap time and the progress made. Tomorrow we want to take another small step forward and see what we can do.