British Talent Team Honda rider John McPhee has come away thrilled from his opening night of the 2017 Moto3 season, after taking a strong podium position – his first in dry conditions – at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Making his debut for the team built around him by series bosses Dorna to promote British talent, the Scotsman’s performance showed exactly what he’s capable of as he rocketed to second place despite a last lap mistake that cost him the chance for a win.
“The engine was really strong, and I was trying to understand if I could pass them at the start finish line, before the line, or after it. I knew that to win the race I had to come out of the last corner in second place and did exactly that – lined it all up perfectly and then made a small mistake with three corners to go. It was totally my mistake though, and it mean that unfortunately I wasn’t quite able to get Joan at the finish line.”
However, despite that, he comes away from the opening round delighted with his progress and his return from serious injury only a few months ago at the Australian Grand Prix – and says he’s ready to put together a title challenge now.
“I can’t thank everyone enough, honestly! The team and everyone behind me. I’ve been given this opportunity and I’m trying to make the most of it so that’s the best way to start off the season. All race the bike was so fast, I felt really strong in the group. We ticked all the boxes in preseason testing and we knew we could be strong, even if the weekend’s not been the best, position-wise. I stuck to the plan and now it’s paid off so I’m absolutely delighted!”