Scottish racer John McPhee has had a strong inaugural test with the Petronas Honda team, kicking off the 2019 season at the squad’s home circuit in Malaysia. Riding for three days at the Sepang track and adapting not only to the Honda but his largely-British new team, he says he’s delighted with the progress they’ve made so far.
“I am really happy with the last three days here. The first two allowed us to take some steps forward and today I am feeling very satisfied because I feel like we have established a good base to work from at Jerez. In general, we are improving our feeling on the bike, the race pace is very good and we have also improved the lap time. Overall we have had three fruitful days and the main thing is that the bike is working well and the team are doing a great job, so I am very happy.”
And while McPhee might only have started working on his return to the Honda after spending 2018 on a KTM, team boss Johann Stigefelt says he’s delighted with the progress that both him and Japanese teammate Ayumu Sasaki have made during the test.
“Ayumu was pretty fast from the start. Over the three days we have tried some things with his bike and he has been consistent and fast, so we are really happy with the job he has done. We have also found that the chemistry with his crew chief is really good. His teammate John is adapting to the Honda and even though that is not an easy task he has had three very useful days here to find a good package, which we can continue working on in the next test at Jerez. We understand the bike more now and at Jerez we will have an interesting three days, where we will look to take everything we have learnt here.”