John McPhee secures second place whereas Khairul Idham Pawi comes in 26th place in the Qatar Moto3 race.
The 2020 Moto3 season has just closed its veil after an intense weekend at Qatar. PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders John McPhee manage to claim a podium win whereas teammate Khairul Idham Pawi ended his run at 26th place.
The Qatar Grand Prix took place at the Losail International Circuit during the weekend. The season opener was not that what McPhee intended at the start as the rider was stuck in between a pack of riders in the first corner. However, he managed to steady his pace and got through the crowd in order to make it to the front of the track. McPhee then made it past the chequered flag just 0.053s shy of victory.
Teammate KIP, on the other hand, made his return to racing this weekend. The Malaysian young gun secured steady progress throughout 18 laps around the circuit. He started from 31st from the grid after having his fastest lap time deleted prior to that. Despite that, he gained more confidence on board the bike on track and finished at 26th place.
Due to the postponement of the Thai GP, there will now be an extended break for the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing team. The team will be making its return at the Circuit of the Americas next month on April 3 to 5.
John McPhee (PETRONAS Sprinta Racing)- As It Happened
“It’s a fantastic way to start. I’m so happy for the team and for everyone that’s been working hard around me to make this possible. We’ve worked all off-season for this. I’ve worked with my crew and really focused on being alone on track to work on the race pace. To then put all the practice into the performance today was a really nice feeling.”
“The first seven or eight laps caught me a little unawares as I didn’t expect some of the guys to be so strong. I knew that my main strength was at the end of the race on the used tyre. So, I was keeping that in mind trying to stay with the top seven. I almost put the perfect plan together. I thought about making a lunge on the last corner of the last lap. But I knew from watching races from the last few years that only once has someone been able to lead from the last corner across the line so I thought it was a good plan to be second out of the last corner. It didn’t pay off but I’m really happy to be on the podium
Khairul Idham Pawi (PETRONAS Sprinta Racing)- As It Happened
It was a very difficult race, especially when starting from the back. My pace was not strong today and was hard, but we know where we can improve. We will work really hard and try to improve every race. For me, it was difficult after one year of no racing but to fight with people again feels good. It was a very difficult last season not to be racing. I need to build my confidence again after being injured and so we keep working towards this and results will come.”