John McPhee talks MotoGP, luck and team-mates with PaddockChatter

John McPhee stunned everyone when securing a podium in Indianapolis, which may have been through luck but was a strong achievement in tricky weather conditions.

McPhee enjoyed success at Indianapolis

Photo: John McPhee

In his third full season in the Moto3 class, the young Scot has found in difficult to get a good pace aboard his Saxoprint RGP this season, securing some solid top ten finishes McPhee is hoping to be up and fighting for podiums but ultimately it seems to be down to getting luck on his side

Are you happy with how this year has gone?
“No I’m not really that happy with how its been going. But I am happy with my riding and the progress I’ve been making. I’ve been training harder than I ever have, I’ve been working harder with the bike and the team than I ever have, but we’ve not really got the results we’ve deserved. Obviously other than the podium at Indy which was a great feeling, and then last weekend in Brno we were really close to the front. 

But then apart from that its been one of those seasons where we’ve just not really had the luck. We’ve been struggling a little bit to get the right settings, its not just me its my team-mate as well and to be honest its my team as a whole but it’s just not what you want. Every rider wants to go out there and win, I believe I can be on the podium and win races but we’ve just not really had the luck at the minute and its been hard on everybody.”

Do you think Honda is the best Moto3 engine to have?
“I’d have said so, Honda’s built a really strong bike not only in Moto3 but in all classes, they always have been there. Last year they really pulled all the stops out and built the championship winning bike and it looks like its going to be that way again this year, but for sure KTM are doing a great job this year. The bikes are very similar and its not as if Honda are winning all the races, it’s been mixed up a lot but Honda does seem to be the favourite out of all of them.”

What’s it like fighting through the big groups in Moto3?
“It’s difficult, we need to learn to ride the bike in a different way. With Moto3 you can’t ride one line; you need to adapt your style, to be able to adapt the corners, change the way you’re riding and mix things up a little bit so if you put a block pass on somebody you can turn in late. We’re kind of restricted at the minute, we seem to be doing a one off lap time for qualifying but if we get the perfect conditions or the perfect tow, as soon as it comes to the race you try to put the pass on somebody, you make the move and you just can’t get the bike to turn which obviously is really difficult in a race situation because the people are passing you back. We’re just trying to do the best that we can at the minute, which is make the best out of a bad situation, but it has been really difficult for us.”

What are your goals for the rest of the season?
“To keep improving, that’s all we can do. Obviously my number one target is to beat Masbou. There’s a lot of Honda’s out there but me and Masbou have got very similar bikes with similar issues, and at the end of the day between me and him a lot of it comes down to the best rider which means he’s the number one target for me.” 

As a Moto3 rider what are your thoughts on Danny Kent’s potential move up to MotoGP?
“It’s a difficult call, obviously MotoGP is the best of the best. Kent is a really good rider, he’s really upped his game this year, it’s the try and catch Kent year, he’s unbelievable. The step is a big jump up from Moto3 to GP, my personal dream is to make it up into GP but if it was me I’d be making sure it was a two, three year deal so then it means that if you struggle one year and you could get dropped. If he had a good deal underneath him then I would go for it, I think it’s well worth the gamble.”

Do you have plans for next year?
“It’s a little bit of a long shot to be honest, I wish I could tell you but I don’t know myself, I think it would be silly to step up to Moto2 at the minute unless we had a really good bike and a really good package underneath us. The main goal is to get a good, strong package underneath me, with plenty of testing and try and have a really strong season in Moto3.”


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