Moto3: McPhee’s guide to a flying Silverstone lap

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With the long, fast and technical nature of Silverstone making it one of the most challenging circuits of the MotoGP season, we sat down with Moto3 contender John McPhee to find out his secrets to a flying lap of the Northamptonshire circuit.

“With Silverstone, the lap can be made or ruined in the first section, though Magotts and Becketts. That whole section is crucial for the rest of the lap, because on a Moto3 bike you don’t have the speed to accelerate down Hanger Straight and you need to get that bit right to get the run onto the straight right. If you miss the first left apex, you ruin the whole run down the straight. Miss the first apex and you can scrap the whole lap in qualifying, because it’s already ruined.

“Slipsteaming is massive, too. There’s four long straights, and it means that to get the perfect lap you need a few bikes staggered out over the lap. One bike isn’t enough; you need to use one bike then jump onto another one. That’s good in a way though, because it means to get the perfect lap you have to be extremely lucky, and most won’t be able to do it. You might stand a better chance of doing it on your own.

“On the last lap, as long as you can hold your own and not lose too many positions, you’ve got an opportunity to get back at them on the slipstream out of the final turn. Silverstone has probably the most passing opportunities across a lap all season – there’s not many corners you can’t put a pass on at. That’s why you always get really interesting races there!”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer