Sterilgarda’s John McPhee will start his first race back from injury 17th on the Le Mans grid for the Moto3 French GP.
The Scot secured a 1'42.581 lap during Saturday’s qualifying having claimed direct entry to the all-important session with a pace two-tenths quicker in the morning practice to end FP3 12th.
His first weekend back after injury prevented him from competing for the past two months, saw McPhee steadily improve both his speed and confidence with the Husqvarna before ending the day under a second from pole-man Dennis Foggia ahead of Sunday’s 22-lap battle.
“I was very happy to go straight to Q2 and finish combined practice 12th overall,” McPhee admitted as his returning weekend continued. “In qualifying practice I wasn’t able to make the most of the new tyre so I will need to start from P17.
“Overall I feel like I’ve made a good come back so far being not far at all from the pace. Tomorrow the target will be to move forward and try to manage my pace over full race distance. I think we’re in good shape and I’m excited to get another race under my belt.”
“An unprofitable qualification for us today,” Team owner Max Biaggi admitted. “It should be noted that John returns to racing after two months of complete inactivity and this has an impact in the long run.
“In free practice three we had a good foundation for doing well. Unfortunately, however during the qualifying session, neither of our two riders managed to make a sufficient step to improve their time. In addition, the gaps here at Le Mans are really short, so for a few tenths you can find yourself starting quite behind. We must work, without any doubt, to try to recover the delay.”