KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) — Petronas Sprinta Racing rider John McPhee made a flying start to his season by securing second place in the Moto3 category of the Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Briton clocked 38 minutes 08.994 seconds, just 0.053 second behind Spanish rider Albert Arenas Ovejero of Aspar Team Gaviota, who clinched his fourth Moto3 victory since 2018. Japanese rider Ai Ogura of Honda Team Asia came in third with a time of 38 minutes 09.285 seconds.
McPhee’s teammate Khairul Idham Pawi, fondly known as KIP, finished 26th out of 29 riders by posting 38 minutes 37.130 seconds in the 18-lap race, his first since returning from a 10-month layoff due to a right hand injury.
In the Moto2 race, Petronas Sprinta Racing duo Xavi Vierge and Jake Dixon finished ninth and 14th after clocking 40:07.310 seconds and 40:12.909 seconds respectively.
Team principal Datul Razlan Razali was delighted with his riders’ performance in both Moto2 and Moto3, but felt that there is room for improvement in the Grand Prix of Americas in the United States next month.
SPORTS-MOTOGP (QATAR GP) 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
“So all positive and we look forward to the next round. We do leave Qatar with uncertainty about where we are going next but the riders will just have to keep their heads down, focus and be ready for when the next race will be,” he said in a statement today.
Echoing his sentiment is team director Johan Stigefelt, who praised the riders for their performance in the curtain-raiser MotoGP races.
The top-tier MotoGP race was not featured in the Qatar GP, while the Thailand GP at the end of this month has been postponed due to growing concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak.