Moto3: McPhee delighted with Honda debut

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Scotsman John McPhee says that his debut on the new British Talent Team Honda machine that he’ll compete for the 2017 Moto3 championship on has gone even better than expected, after completing two days of testing at Valencia.

Marking his first time back on a bike since his season-ending Phillip Island crash in October, he admitted that even the potential fitness issues he’d expected hadn’t played a part in the successful test.

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“I’ve came away happy and positive, feeling about as good as could be. The new bike is great – the first 20 laps I did was with a big smile on my face below the helmet. It does everything I ask it to do, and it made a big difference. We didn’t really make many changes to it, to be honest. We left it fairly standard because I just wanted to get laps done and get myself back up to speed before we went changing anything. That’s what we focused on.

“I haven’t even been back training until a few weeks ago – I wasn’t allowed to train until mid-January, and I expected to struggle a little with fitness or arm pump. But I finished the two days with no issues whatsoever. It went ideally really.”

And while the team were one of a number of squads not shown on the timing screens during the test, he says that the lap times came easily and left him and new boss Alberto Puig pleased.

“We didn’t run a transponder at the test, just because we didn’t realise there was live timing, but we had our lap times and were able to keep track of the other guys, and I was right there on the pace consistently. We’re not far away at all, I’m feeling good on the bike, and we’ve still got loads of room to explore on it.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer