Scottish star John McPhee says he’s desperate for a move up to Moto2 for 2020, after ending a winless drough that stretches back to Brno in 2016 by taking a stunning victory at last weekend’s French Grand Prix. Playing his strategy to perfection, McPhee not only took his second win but also gave his Petronas Sprinta Honda team their first ever GP Prix win in five seasons of trying.
Able to observe and conserve his tyres in the first half of the race in Le Mans before picking his way through in the second and then set up a textbook last lap pass on Lorenzo Dalla Porta, McPhee’s win came at a welcome time for the 24-year-old. Struggling early season despite strong testing form and looking fast at every race, he now hopes the win will be the confidence boost he needs to become a podium regular.
“Le Mans isn’t a track I love,” he told MCN afterwards. “I thought I could come and be strong and maybe be inside the top five all weekend if luck was on my side. But to be on pole and to win shows what a good package and team I have. There’s no race coming up that I need to worry about and we can hopefully be in the lead pack from now on.
“In 2017 when I had my last good run, we started strong and when everyone played catch-up, we struggled to improve. This is the opposite because we’ve had pace but we’ve struggled to get going so to arrive at a track where I’ve never turned up knowing it would be a fantastic weekend is great. I’m excited looking ahead because we’ve got Mugello, Barcelona, Assen – places I’ve been on the podium before.”
And while it might be a long year still for McPhee, he’s hoping a strong run of form between now and the summer break in early July can help him secure his goal – a step up to Moto2 for 2020.
“The timing is perfect. I don’t want to think about the future but it’s only natural that you do. I’m desperate to go to Moto2 next year and I’ll be doing the best job I can to put my name up there. The team around me is absolutely fantastic and to continue with them into Moto2 would be the dream, but either way I want to make the step next year.”