John McPhee’s third test aboard the Sterilgarda Husqvarna threw both a new data engineer and mechanic in the mix.
After three seasons with the Petronas Honda, McPhee is still getting to grips with his new machine alongside crew chief Maurizio Cambarau and new additions Joan Locutura and Gabriele Guidotti - but with progress made, the team called time one session early in its work at the Algarve International Circuit on Monday.
The Scot ended the three-day official test 13th in the combined times with a fastest 1’47.794 effort, just eight-tenths adrift of 2021 runner up Dennis Foggia’s overall target after 120 laps of the rollercoaster layout.
“I really enjoyed the last three days here in Portimao,” McPhee said on Monday evening. “It’s been great to get back with the team again, and to gain experience working together after a few days from the start of the season. It feels like a small family, so it’s been really nice and I’m really happy with everything there.
“I’m adapting my riding style. I’m understanding more and more the way I need to ride my Husqvarna, so I think we are in a good shape for Qatar.
“We lost a little bit of time in this three days, but in the end we came good and we were able to do a reasonable lap time, especially with the hard tires. Of course there is always more to learn, but at the moment it has been very positive and I feel in good shape to start the season.”
“In these last tests before the start of the Championship, both Ayumu and John did a good job,
Max Biaggi – Team Owner confirmed. “The goal was to improve the feeling with both the bike and the team and I think that both riders have made a good step forward. Now we have the race in Qatar, where I expect us to be competitive from the beginning.”