Sixth place fin­ish for McPhee in crash-strewn Bri­tish Grand Prix

The Oban Times - - Sport -

CON­NEL’S John McPhee kept his head in what turned out to be a rain-lashed, crash-strewn, topsy-turvy Moto3 race at the Bri­tish Grand Prix to fin­ish sixth.

The Sax­o­print-RTG rider - who started from 12th on the grid - got shuf­fled down the or­der to 18th on the chaotic open­ing lap but rose steadily up the or­der as some 16 riders came to grief in the atro­cious con­di­tions.

The race was barely un­der­way when front-row starter Karel Hanika, fol­lowed by pole-man and race leader Jorge Navarro, both crashed out in quick suc­ces­sion.

The pair’s down­fall pro­moted RBA Rac­ing’s Isaac Vi­nales into the lead ahead of Leop­ard Rac­ing’s cham­pi­onship leader Danny Kent and Drive M7 SIC’s Jakub Korn­feil, who had mus­cled his way up from 13th on the grid.

But the Spa­niard’s time at the head of the pack lasted no more than two laps as he joined what was to be­come the steady stream of riders to hit the deck and slide out of con­tention.

That left Kent boss­ing the show with Korn­feil and Ro­mano Fe­nati lit­er­ally trail­ing in his wake while McPhee made his way up to ninth to lead a three-way fight for what even­tu­ally be­came fifth.

The bat­tle - in­volv­ing McPhee, RW Rac­ing’s Livio Loi and MAPFRE Mahin­dra rider Juan­fran Gue­vara - was joined just be­fore mid- dis­tance and lasted for half a dozen laps be­fore Loi es­caped as McPhee got sucked into a lengthy and time- con­sum­ing tus­sle with the Spa­niard.

By the time he broke free, Loi was an un- catch­able 4.6 sec­onds down the road in sev­enth which - with two laps to go - be­came fifth as Gue­vara’s team-mate Francesco Bag­naia, fol­lowed by Gresini’s Enea Bas­tia­nia joined the ca­su­alty list in the steadily wors­en­ing con­di­tions.

By that time Kent was some 10 sec­onds clear of Korn­feil which al­lowed him the lux­ury of eas­ing off to se­cure the win prac­ti­cally 8.5s ahead of the Czech.

Ongetta-Ri­va­cold’s Nic­colo An­tonelli claimed the fi­nal podium place a fur­ther 4.7s be­hind. Estrella Gali­cia 0,0’s Fabio Quar­tararo and Loi rounded out the top five, with McPhee in sixth just two sec­onds in ar­rears of the Bel­gian.

John said: ‘It was a re­ally tough race in those con­di­tions. There was stand­ing wa­ter ev­ery­where but I knew if I kept a cool head and played a pa­tient wait­ing game the re­sult would come to me - and it did.’

Kent’s points haul stretches his cham­pi­onship lead over the ill-fated Bas­tian­ini in sec­ond to 70 points. Ro­mano Fe­nati in third is a fur­ther 28 points adrift.

McPhee re­mains 11th on 70pts just two points out­side a place in the top 10.

His team-mate Alexis Mas­bou, who fin­ished 11th, is 14th in the stand­ings on 46 points.

Photo: Bon­nie Lane

AC­TION MAN: John McPhhe in ac­tion on the rain-soaked track at Sil­ver­stone

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