British Talent Honda rider John McPhee has leaped back into form at the Dutch TT after a series of disappointing races for the Scottish racer, bouncing back at Assen on Sunday to take a strong third place in a frantic race.
Not making life easy for himself by qualifying back in 19th after making the wrong call on tyres for the end of the session, McPhee was able to work his way through the pack into the battle for seventh, only to work with eventual race winner Aron Canet to bridge their way across to the leaders and launch themselves into the fight for the lead.
However, despite going into the final laps confident that he had a strong plan to take the win, the frantic and scrappy final series of corners meant that he was forced to settle for a podium finish – something that didn’t leave him too upset afterwards.
“On Friday, I felt really strong and showed my potential, and told the team then that I felt I could be a bit of a dark horse. I made a goo start and the leaders’ pace wasn’t too great, so I took a little more risk to get there, and it took a few really pin perfect laps to get there. But once I was able to catch them I knew it would be a lot easier.
“I need to say a massive thank you to the team though, because it was them that helped me turn around a difficult weekend. I enjoyed the race, though, and going into the last lap I was focusing on Mir, seeing where he was stronger, but then two or three of us got run wide and I thought it was the end of my podium chances.”
Taking good championship points off many of his rivals, including runaway championship leader Joan Mir (who started the last lap in the lead and finished ninth), he says that not only does the result close his gap to the leaders but also reinstills confidence in him.
“We’ve stepped up to fifth in the championship and we’re right in the mix. Mir looked like he was disappearing for a bit, but suddenly Canet is a lot closer, and having a threat behind him might add a bit of pressure. I’m far enough away not to have any pressure on me but enough to be putting some on the guys in front of me, so hopefully we can take advantage of that in the next few rounds.”