Sterilgarda Max Racing’s John McPhee kicked off his final Moto3 season in the top five after a dramatic Qatar Grand Prix on Sunday.
The usual lightweight class qualifying chaos ensured penalties mixed the Moto3 grid with McPhee promoted from seventh to fifth before the lights had even gone out. Despite that, a difficult opening lap on his Husqvarna dropped the Scot to the edge of the top ten and the work began in earnest.
Quickly on the back of the leading group, McPhee looked to be aiming for the podium, having set the second fastest lap of the race on his second lap as he worked his way through the mid pack. The final laps of the race, however, saw him consolidate his fifth position with the four-rider fight out front proving just out of reach.
“P5 is a really solid way to start the year,” McPhee confirmed from Qatar. “I didn’t know how strong my pace would be across the race distance but we managed to compose ourselves well.
“It would have been perfect if I could have attacked a little bit more but I was feeling a bit on the limit.
"It was important to get these points on the board. A big thanks to the team because they worked so hard all weekend to help me adapt to the FR 250 GP and to understand the way to ride it. We’ll hope for better now in Indonesia.”