20.11.2020 | news
Sunny start to final Moto3 round in Portimão for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing
John McPhee 12th and Khairul Idham Pawi 28th on Portuguese GP opening day
The final Moto3 round of the 2020 season got off to a sunny and warm start for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing at Algarve International Circuit today. John McPhee and Khairul Idham Pawi ended the extended 55-minute Portuguese GP Free Practice sessions 12th and 28th respectively.
McPhee was eager to get straight out in FP1 and start learning the Portuguese track, especially as he has never ridden at the circuit before today. The Scot was soon up to speed in the sunny setting, posting a best lap of 1min 49.666secs and ending the session ninth. Working through his Free Practice programme in FP2, John was able to gather valuable data throughout the session. He ended the FP2, and the day, 12th with a 1min 48.811secs lap.
Team-mate KIP, who has previously enjoyed a FIM CEV top-five finish at Portimão in 2015, was able to enjoy the glorious conditions in FP1 and rack up a good amount of time aboard his Honda NSF250RW. The Malaysian ended the session 27th with a best time of 1min 50.847secs. Continuing to acclimatise to the circuit in FP2 and work on his long-run pace, KIP improved his time from the morning on his final flying lap to 1min 49.471secs, which saw him end the session and the day 28th.
McPhee and KIP will be back out on track tomorrow at 9am local time (5pm MYT) for FP3, before the final Moto3 qualifying session of 2020 gets underway at 12.35pm local time (8.35pm).
I’ve really enjoyed my first day of riding at Portimão. This is the first time that I’ve seen the circuit in person, so after yesterday’s track walk I was really excited to ride it and it has lived up to our expectations! It was really exciting, really fun and actually quite difficult to begin with. Lap by lap we went faster and we have some data now to analyse, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow. At the moment we’re in Q2, but I think everyone will go faster in FP3. I think we can expect to make quite a big step tomorrow as well. We’ll analyse the data we have and look at the areas in which we can improve, both with the bike and how I’m attacking the corners, to be ready for qualifying.
Khairul Idham Pawi
Portimão is a nice circuit to ride, with some big up and down sections, so I’m really happy to be here again. The last time was five years ago in the FIM CEV championship. In FP2 we improved a lot, but of course so is everyone else, but we were only 1.4secs from the fastest rider. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. We think everyone will improve so we will do our best to reduce our lap time as much as possible, but we know that it will be tough. Tonight we plan to make some changes with the gearbox, because that should help us tomorrow. I’m looking forward to riding here again tomorrow and we’ll do our best in qualifying.