McPhee strug­gles in Aus­tria

The Oban Times - - Sport -

CON­NEL’S John McPhee en­dured a week­end to for­get at the Red Bull Ring in Spiel­berg, Aus­tria, with min­i­mal po­si­tion changes re­sult­ing in a 24th place fin­ish in the Moto3 World Cham­pi­onship round in Aus­tria.

Hav­ing qual­i­fied in 29th po­si­tion, McPhee’s strug­gles con­tin­ued in Sun­day’s bright and dry con­di­tions de­spite be­ing pro­moted a place ahead of the race fol­low­ing the ex­clu­sion of Ital­ian Ro­mano Fe­nati by his Sky VR46 team.

But Rac­ing Steps Foun­da­tion-backed rider McPhee was un­able to make fur­ther sig­nif­i­cant progress when the lights went out; his Peu­geot-badged Mahin­dra strug­gling with horse­power deficit to its ri­vals, par­tic­u­larly on the cir­cuit’s up­hill sec­tions and long straights.

Hav­ing come out on top of an early tus­sle with the fel­low Mahin­dra of Mar­cos Ramirez, McPhee set his sights on the Sky VR46 / KTM of An­dre Migno with less than 0.1 sec­onds sep­a­rat­ing the pair at times.

The bat­tle be­tween the pair pre­vented any fur­ther progress up the field with Adam Nor­rodin pulling clear by over 10 sec­onds, while Ramirez’s deficit to the duo also fell into dou­ble fig­ures in the clos­ing laps.

With the num­ber of laps fall­ing, the or­der re­mained sta­tion­ary un­til McPhee man­aged to fi­nally grab the place past Migno on the final lap to grab an even­tual 24th place, with his Peu­geot Sax­o­print team-mate Al­bert Are­nas fin­ish­ing 22nd on his de­but.

Leop­ard Rac­ing’s rookie Joan Mir scored vic­tory from pole po­si­tion, with cham­pi­onship leader Brad Binder sec­ond. The Honda of Gresini Rac­ing’s Enea Bas­tian­ini took third fol­low­ing the final lap tus­sle for po­si­tion.

Photo: Bon­nie Lane

John McPhee, No 17, in ac­tion dur­ing the Aus­trian Grand Prix.

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