MCPHEE’S NEW DEAL
Brit Moto3 star in new team
Czech Grand Prix winner John Mcphee will line up on the 2017 Moto3 grid on a factory Honda in a new squad backed by Motogp organisers Dorna as he looks to build on the success of last season.
The news, coming as a reward not only for his Brno win but a strong second half of the season until injury at Phillip Island brought it to a premature halt, will finally give him the tools he needs to become a regular challenger for podium success in the lightweight class.
The team were originally set to have backing from BT Sport, but it’s believed that with the squad looking for a longterm commitment to help develop British talent, that has now been put on hold. BT Sport’s contract with Dorna is set to expire at the end of 2018 and Mcphee’s team wanted reassurance the deal would go beyond 2018.
But with Alberto Puig, the man behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, running the squad, Mcphee is confident that with or without the backing of the TV company, he’s going into the year in the best position of his career.
Mcphee said: “There are still some
details that we don’t quite know, but we know it’s going to be a Dorna team run by Alberto. There’s still no sign of BT, but maybe they’re going to come in at a later date.
“I’ll have a factory Honda though, which is the one box I was looking to
‘I’ll have a factory Honda, which is the one box I was looking to tick’ JOHN MCPHEE
tick. I’ll have no personal expenses either, which is one less thing to worry about.
“It’ll be nice to be able to fly the flag a bit, and with Dorna involved budgets will be no problem. And having Alberto on board is nice too – he has a good reputation in the paddock and a great history with riders like Pedrosa and Stoner. He’s going to do the job properly. It’s a shame we couldn’t test before the end of the year, but we’ll get started in early February and hopefully get going soon enough.”
Mcphee says that the team is set to give an amazing opportunity not only to him but to a whole crop of young talent. He added: “I’ve been asking questions about team colours and what it’s going to be called, and for now it’ll be the British Talent Team. The plan in the future is to bring more riders through. The plan is for one rider next year, but in expand it to two in the future.”
It’s also believed that Dorna are keen to replicate the success of the Asia Talent Cup, also run by Puig, by looking to develop a similar series in the UK to find the next Cal Crutchlow or Scott Redding. It’s proposed that the series could run Moto3 spec machines.