Petronas Sprinta’s John McPhee ended Saturday’s Moto3 qualifying in the top 10 at COTA after battling through from Q1.
McPhee had a good start to FP3, running strongly inside the top 14 however, the second half saw the Scot struggle. His best 2’17.525 lap placing him 18th by the end of the final practice.
Working with his SRT team-mate Darryn Binder in Q1, McPhee secured passage into the pole shootout before clinching a fourth row start for Sunday’s 17-lap race with a 2’16.592 effort.
“It was tough out there today,” McPhee said of his Saturday in America. “I felt like I was riding well but I was struggling to put the laps together. It’s difficult when you’re riding alone, especially on the long straight here, and we were definitely suffering a little bit.
“Darryn and myself worked really well together to make sure that we got through from Q1 to Q2. I managed to take a chunk of time off my lap, but that was mainly through the slipstream.
“The race is going to be tough, but I’m feeling good in the first two sectors. It’s just the third sector that we’re struggling a bit with, but that shouldn’t be an issue in the race, as we’ll have bikes around us. A good start will be needed but we’ll dig in and do our best. The first laps will be tough, but if we can be there then we should be able to fight in the top five.”