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MotoGP Valencia #2: 'Irresponsible riding' hampers McPhee’s Moto3 progress

Spanish sun finally returned for this morning’s Moto3 race, the second in as many weeks at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Launching from 16th on the grid, Petronas Sprinta’s John McPhee battled hard on the fringes of the top-10 throughout the 23-lap contest, eventually crossing the line to finish 11th.

Heading the sixth row, McPhee made a steady start as he immediately grabbed a position into the first corners of the race. Advancing further, to the edge of the top-10 by lap four, a tangle with another rider on the following revolution forced him off-line and back down the standings.


Regrouping for a brief mid-field battle, the Scot moved into the top-10 on lap eight, however, his fight for position had allowed the riders in front to create a three-second gap which he was was unable to reduce. An end-of-race battle with Jeremy Alcoba meant McPhee crossed the line 11th but with the Moto3 Championship, disappointingly, now out of his grasp.

Reflecting on the race, McPhee explained: “Starting from P16 was always going to be difficult but my start wasn’t bad.

“I made my way to the back of the front group but another rider hit me on the straight and I nearly crashed. I lost several positions and ended up at the back of the second group.

“I had to fight my way back to the front. My pace was faster than those around me but it was really hard to defend on the start-finish straight.

“Lap-by-lap we were catching them but the gap was just too big to close. It’s disappointing because my race pace was okay; we were just too far back.

“Not the best weekend but I am looking forward to a completely different circuit with Portimão next weekend.”

Team Director, Johan Stigefelt, confirmed: “The race was tough for John as there was someone else riding irresponsibly in the first couple of laps and it meant he lost some positions. He wasn’t able to make his way back in front after that.

“It was a tough weekend and we didn’t quite have the pace that we wanted. We need to work on this and make sure that we are strong from FP1 all the way through until the chequered flag on Sunday.”

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