24.10.2020 | news
Tricky Teruel Moto3 qualifying for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing
John McPhee to start Gran Premio de Teruel 17th; Khairul Idham Pawi 27th
Although the Spanish sun was out at MotorLand Aragón for Saturday’s Moto3 qualifying sessions, it proved to be a difficult day for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing. Although John McPhee made it through to Q2, despite a crash, he will start the Gran Premio de Teruel 17th, with Khairul Idham Pawi 27th.
It was a fraught final few minutes of FP3 for McPhee, who had it all to do after a Turn 8 crash early on in the session. The Scot was able to squeeze through to Q2 at the last moment, after setting a 1min 58.105secs lap. Although in Q2 John was able to set some good laps alone, without the slipstream, the fast pace of the session meant that his 1min 58.328secs lap saw him end qualifying in 17th place.
Team-mate KIP had a tough FP3 session, having to sit out of the final 25 minutes because of a penalty from the Aragon GP. The Malaysian couldn’t improve upon his 1min 59.162secs lap from yesterday, putting him in Q1. KIP attempted to utilise the slipstream of another rider, but it wasn’t enough to get through to Q2 and his 1min 59.722secs lap will see him 27th on the grid tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s Moto3 action will kick off with Warm Up at 9.20am local time (4.20pm MYT), with the 19-lap race getting underway at 11.20am local time (6.20pm MYT).
Q2 was a tough session today. I did my laps alone, without a slipstream, and they were okay. It was just a really fast qualifying session today and those laps weren’t enough. We’ve treated all the sessions this weekend like a bit of a test, to play with the settings on the bike, and until now I’ve been riding something that feels quite different. There is some potential there but trying to get the optimum out of those settings over one lap proved to be difficult. We’ll make a decision about what to do for the race tomorrow. We know from last weekend that my race pace is good and it might be tricky starting from P17, but we know we have the speed to come through the pack.
Khairul Idham Pawi
Qualifying was difficult because there wasn’t a good group to make the lap time in, even though I felt like I was improving. Maybe our strategy wasn’t as good as we expected today and we were hoping for more from the session. It’s a shame, but it happens sometimes and we know that we can be stronger at the next race. The bike is better than it was last weekend, but there is still some rear end chatter in the fast corners. I hope in tomorrow’s Warm Up session we can make some more improvements before the race and see where we can be at the end.