John McPhee’s 2021 season went from bad to disastrous after he was taken out of the DohaGP when challenging for podium contention in the closing laps.
The Scot’s frustration was clear to see as he fought with Jeremy Alcoba in the gravel at turn one, unaware that it was actually his Petronas teammate, Darryn Binder, who caused the Italian to lose control of his Gresini machine as he defended the lead.
The fight itself created further drama as it was caught on camera, McPhee finding himself called to the stewards office after the race. The resulting penalty sees the luckless number 17 starting the Portuguese race from the pitlane, with the addition of a 10-second-delay, as well as receiving a thousand Euro fine.
Discussing the initial incident, McPhee admitted: “I’m gutted about the crash and it’s a shame for us to finish the race this way, because of another rider’s mistake.
“I felt strong all weekend again and especially in the race. I was possibly a bit too cautious in the opening laps, but then I managed to show my real speed and make my way back to the front. I had a couple of issues on the way there with another rider, and then finally the incident happened at turn one.
“Everything was going to plan until then. Darryn did a great job though and it’s fantastic to see him on the podium again. Hopefully I’ll be back fighting at the front at Portimão.”
Petronas team boss, Johan Stigefelt concluded, “I’m really gutted for John and feel so sorry for him. He rode really well and he did what he should do, but another rider took him out again. We really need to look at this because it’s unacceptable. Again, I just feel so sorry for him and we need to work together to move on.”