Tenth place fin­ish for John McPhee in Brno

The Oban Times - - Sport -

CON­NEL rider, John McPhee, fin­ished 10th in an abridged, 12-lap Czech Re­pub­lic Moto3 Grand Prix race in Brno.

And the points-pay­ing fin­ish moves him up to 11th in the rider stand­ings.

The pro­grammed 19-lap en­counter was red-flagged al­most as soon as it got un­der­way fol­low­ing two multi-rider, open­ing lap in­ci­dents - the sec­ond of which re­quired the at­ten­dance of the med­i­cal team.

Faced with what, to all in­tents and pur­poses, amounted to a fol­low-up sprint race, McPhee - along with sev­eral other riders - switched to the soft op­tion rear tyre which looked like the right choice as the am­bi­ent and track tem­per­a­tures rose. Af­ter a strong start, which cat­a­pulted the Scot up from 10th on the grid to fifth on the open­ing lap, he was quickly shuf­fled back to 11th to bring up the rear of the lead group. That be­came 10th with four laps to go af­ter team-mate, Alexis Mas­bou, lost the front end and crashed while dis­put­ing eighth place with Leop­ard Rac­ing’s cham­pi­onship leader, Danny Kent.

Ongetta-Ri­va­cold’s pole-sit­ter, Nic­colo An­tonelli, claimed the win - the first of his Grand Prix ca­reer - just over a tenth of a sec­ond clear of Gresini rider and fel­low Ital­ian, Enea Bas­tian­ini who started 15th.

Ajo’s Brad Binder se­cured the fi­nal podium place a fur­ther two- tenths in ar­rears af­ter los­ing the lead to An­tonelli with two laps to go.

McPhee rounded out the top 10 some three sec­onds adrift of the win­ner af­ter eas­ing off over the fi­nal three laps.

Points-leader Kent - who led the race over the open­ing two laps - fin­ished sev­enth.

Limit ‘Both me and Mas­bou were on the ab­so­lute limit,’ said McPhee. ‘Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther of us could keep up the pace to stay with the guys at the front of the pack.

‘Mas­bou showed how hard we were try­ing and paid the price. Then I had a sim­i­lar scary mo­ment at the same spot next time round and took the de­ci­sion to ease off rather than come off.

‘It seems we were both quick into the corners, but were los­ing time on the ex­its. So we’ll have to study the data to see ex­actly what the prob­lem was and how we can over­come it at the next round at Sil­ver­stone.

‘The good thing is we do ap­pear to be mak­ing progress, which is en­cour­ag­ing.’

De­spite fin­ish­ing sev­enth, Kent con­tin­ues to head the rider stand­ings - but by a re­duced mar­gin of 45 points over Bas­tian­ini. McPhee lies 10 points out­side the top 10 on 60.

Photo: Bon­nie Lane

John McPhee in ac­tion dur­ing the Czech Grand Prix in Brno

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