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MotoGP Valencia #2: FP3 team tactics the aim for McPhee

The opening day of the Valencia GP provided much brighter and drier conditions than last week’s challenging Friday practice, allowing John McPhee to test, trial and progress his Petronas Sprinta machine during increasingly-tight sessions ready for Sunday’s 23-lap Moto3 race.

FP1 proved to be fast, thanks in equal part to the dry conditions and prior data, with McPhee breaking into the top three in the closing 10 minutes but with the shootout underway, and riders separated by just hundredths of a second, his fastest lap of 1’39.156 put him 17th at the end of the first 40-minute session.

The afternoon found the Scot continuing to fine-tune his race-craft while FP2 maintained the hard-fought pace throughout the field. McPhee’s 1’39.083 time - set on his 16th and final lap - was only six-tenths shy of Tony Arbolino’s fastest of the day but placed him 21st in both the final session and overall standings.


“We tried a couple of new things with the bike and managed to find something that’s working fairly well, but it meant that we had quite a few laps where we were testing things and made it difficult to be consistently fast,” said McPhee.

“I’m quite happy with my lap times though because I was alone on track – no slipstream – when I did them and I set my fastest time around Valencia. It’s not enough to be at the front, it’s very close though, and I think if I can just find one or two tenths we’ll be in good shape.

“I’ve found a really good rhythm and we can see that we have done some good work towards the race. We need to have a big push in FP3 to try and go directly to Q2, hopefully we can work together with KIP as a team to find those extra tenths in a slipstream. Then we’ll see what happens in qualifying.”

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