Moto3: Broken brakes stop McPhee

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British racer John McPhee was left disappointed with Sunday's result in the opening round of the 2018 moto3 championship in Qatar, after crashing out of the battle for the podium on the final lap. However, not all of the blame sits on the shoulders of the CIP Moto KTM rider, after admitting afterwards to MCN that a broken rear brake hampered his chances from the off.

Relying on the back brake to help turn the bike in much the same way as the Ducati MotoGP racers do, a failure at the beginning of the opening lap meant that despite an incredible ride through the field after being forced off the track in early stages, he wasn’t able to seize a podium chance ripe for the picking.

“All weekend I knew there was potential, because I did all my laps alone and had great rhythm. We felt much stronger than we did in pre-season testing, and it was nice to get the bike working and get a feel for it. You always learn even more in a race situation and we were doing just that. It’s frustrating, because it could have been a podium, but you can’t dwell on these things.”

But after a difficult build up to the Qatar Grand Prix for McPhee and his new team, he’s now heading to the next round in Argentina much more content. Pleased with their progress and keen to build on what they’ve learned, he says there’s much more potential still to come.

“It’s a long season and we know now that we can be up there challenging for podiums week in and week out. We’ve got a couple of things to fix to make things run a little smoother, but I’m a lot happier than I was coming into the weekend. The team are a good bunch of guys, and my crew chief is keeping everyone straight and everyone working in the right way.

“There’s a lot of new guys in the team with not so much experience, but having some good people means that everyone’s being kept right and going in the right direction.  The rear brake failure was just one of those things that wasn’t their fault. It held me back a bit in the race, but at least we’ve got Argentina to look forward to.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer