British Talent Team’s John McPhee ended the final pre-season test of the year 12th fastest and satisfied with how his winter preparations have gone.
The Scottish rider returns to Honda machinery this year with the Dorna-backed British Talent Team following a largely difficult 2016 campaign on a Mahindra with the Saxoprint Peugeot squad.
Running was limited this weekend, as bad weather saw most of Friday and Sunday’s running called off. Today, McPhee managed just four useful laps and completed nine in total across two sessions, the best of which a 2m0877.327s to put him 13th.
His fastest lap of the weekend, a 2m07.327s, came during the final session of Saturday’s test, placing him 12th on the combined times.
“Today was a bit of a nothing day with only a total of four fast laps,” last year’s Czech Grand Prix winner said.
“The weather turned too bad and the sessions were cancelled, so there wasn’t much I could do.”
The lack of track time will come as a massive inconvenience for McPhee, who had a new engine, exhaust and throttle body to test from Honda, as well as several set-up tweaks he was keen to explore after a crash robbed him of running on Saturday.
However, the Oban native is happy with how the winter has gone. And though he still has some hard work ahead of him come practice, he feels as if he enters the new season in the best form he ever has done.
“I still feel like I’m heading into the race weekend in a good position, and this is definitely the best shape I’ve finished pre-season testing in.
“I’ve got some things I’d like to try throughout practice next week, but overall I’m happy,” he added.
Jeremy McWilliams, who is Dorna’s new British Talent Scout and McPhee’s rider coach for 2017, echoed his rider’s sentiments.
“In general (it has been) another positive test for John and the boys,” he said.
“He continues to improve with every outing and we are all confident that if we had to race tomorrow John has a good race pace and he is full of confidence with the new bike.”
McPhee will take to the 5.4km Losail International Circuit once again this Thursday for the opening free practice sessions of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship.