McPhee back on the podium for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing2019-08-11 15:19
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider John McPhee has secured his second Moto3 podium of the year at the Austrian Grand Prix, after a measured ride at the Red Bull Ring to secure third place by a mere 0.008secs. Team-mate Ayumu Sasaki also had a strong race, rallying from a starting position of 20th to finish inside the points in 13th.
McPhee started the race from pole position after a series of riders were penalised following yesterday’s qualifying session, and was able to make a break along with two other riders as soon as the lights went out. In the podium battle for the entire 23 laps, despite mixed conditions, McPhee set himself up for third by setting the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to win the slipstream battle over the line and take the spot by a mere 0.008secs.
Sasaki had a tricky start to the race after being demoted from second to 20th due to penalties yesterday, but was able to get stuck into the fight and made up key places in the early laps. Never getting a chance to breathe as he scrapped for a points-scoring place all race long, he was eventually able to secure a solid end to the weekend in 13th place.
McPhee and Sasaki will return to action in two weeks’ time when they head to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, with practice commencing on Friday 23rd August before the race on Sunday 25th August.
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“It was a great race and I’m so happy, especially after the bad luck in Brno despite John starting second. It was a tough race for him today because it’s very tough to manage in these conditions, but he did it very well. He made a perfect last lap, setting the fastest of the race while still fighting. Ayumu had a great weekend as well, but damp conditions don’t suit him as well and that made it tough for him. I’m really happy that he was able to come home in the points, because that’s an important result for both him and the team.”
“It was tough at the end, because I was almost a little too comfortable at the start when we stretched out the lead to four seconds. I just wasn’t able to chase down Romano [Fenati] as he was escaping, and I could see the guys closing me down from behind as well. I knew that my only hope on the last lap was to get a good exit out of the last corner and get the drive, and that’s exactly what I did. I was actually a little disappointed on the slowing down lap because I didn’t realise until I entered pit lane that I was third! We’ve worked hard for the last few races and it was nice to be able to reward the team with a podium.”
“This weekend was really good from the start, because I had the pace to go fast and was able to be second in qualifying. But we got penalised, which was unfortunate, and the conditions in the race weren’t good. If it had been a dry race it would have been much better, but the problem was that the dry line was only one tyre wide and that makes it so hard to pass. In the end I was able to pick people off - but the guys in front had pulled too far ahead by then. It was a missed opportunity for us because without the penalty it could have been a very different day.”
Source: SIC Racing Team
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