MCPHEE’S NEW DEAL

Brit Moto3 star in new team

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

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.

Mcphee (cen­tre) proved his po­ten­tial with a win at the Czech round

Scottish rid­ers arenõt scared of a bit of rain, as Mcphee showed when he surfed to vic­tory at Brno

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