Petronas Sprinta’s John McPhee will start Sunday’s FrenchGP from the second row of the Moto3 grid, after mixed conditions dominated Le Mans qualifying.
Having already demonstrated strong wet weather form by topping Friday’s FP1, McPhee immediately staked his place inside the top-three as the final practice got going on Saturday morning. The Scot consistently circulated at the sharp end of the timesheets throughout FP3, ending the session fourth with a 1’55.026, but with times falling vastly short of Friday’s afternoon best, he was already safely through to the Q2 decider.
Tricky conditions greeted McPhee once again for qualifying, as rain began to fall in the final sector just before the start of the session. Unperturbed, the Petronas rider continued to fine-tune his rhythm around the French circuit, briefly holding provisional pole before his 1’49.640 lap placed him fourth once again, just 0.029s from the front row of tomorrow’s 22-lap battle.
“It’s been a solid day, with tricky conditions in both sessions” McPhee explained after qualifying this afternoon.
“This morning was wet but then became drier towards the end, so we were on a full wet set up and took fourth in FP3. The time from yesterday put us straight through to Q2, so that was good.
"We had even trickier conditions in Q2 - it was dry when we first left the garage and then it rained on the out-lap. The team did a great job changing the bike to a full wet setting, as the rain was heavy but then it didn’t come to much. The track was still dry apart from the last two corners.
"We did the best job we could with the wet setup and I’m happy to be leading the second row. The weather conditions will be a big factor tomorrow, but we’re ready to fight and aim for that podium.”