MotoGP Qatar: McPhee battles chatter into qualifying

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Britain’s John McPhee will start tomorrow’s opening Moto3 from ninth on the grid after battling with chatter in free practice three this morning.

After being in the mix in yesterday’s two practice sessions, McPhee encountered some issues with rear-end chatter in today’s free practice session that prevented him from setting the time expected.

Despite battling with the issue, the Scot was able to set a time that saw him secure one of the automatic Q2 spots. The team worked hard to fix the issue for qualifying and McPhee was able to set a 2’05.242 lap, which will see him start the first Moto3 race of the year from the third row of the grid in ninth.

“In FP3 we came across a problem with rear-end chatter and it seemed almost impossible to do a lap time, but then we managed to find the cause of this issue and everything was back to normal,” said McPhee.

“To be able to ride in qualifying with a bike that’s working normally and to have no problems was really nice. I did the lap time chasing a little bit of a group, but I also lost a couple of tenths.

I have a lot of confidence again in the bike and to be able to attack, especially in the fast corners and under hard braking, is really good.

“Starting in the third row is enough to be in that front group come the start of the race tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to the first fight of the season.

“I’m expecting a big group like we saw a lot of times last year, maybe even more than 20 riders, but towards the end of the race it might break up again a little bit.

“My pace feels really good, especially on the used tyre, so let’s see if we can try to break up the group a little bit. That would be fantastic.”