Fifth row Moto3 start for McPhee at AustrianGP
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee 15th and Darryn Binder 18th in Qualifying at Spielberg
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders will have work to do in tomorrow’s AustrianGP, after John McPhee and Darryn Binder ended today’s Qualifying at Spielberg 15th and 18th respectively. However, the pair will gain one place each on the grid due to another rider’s penalty.
It was a strong FP3 for McPhee, who managed to stay inside the top-ten for the majority of the session. Improving his lap time to 1min 36.046secs, the fifth fastest in both FP3 and overall, he headed straight to Q2. After posting a lap that placed him provisionally on the third row, the Scot continued to improve and set a 1min 36.455secs time on his final flying lap. This saw John end the ultra competitive Q2 session 15th, which will see him start tomorrow’s race from the fifth row.
Despite a Turn 4 crash early on in FP3 that kept him off track for a time, Binder’s time from yesterday secured his place in Q2. His 1min 36.409secs lap time in FP3 saw him end the session 15th. Not feeling completely comfortable with his bike, the South African’s initial Q2 run saw him set a lap time of 1min 36.722secs. Darryn was unable to improve upon this, after exceeding track limits on his final lap, and ultimately ended Qualifying in 18th place.
Tomorrow’s race day action will kick off with McPhee and Binder’s Warm Up session at 8.40am local time (2.40pm MYT), with the 23-lap Moto3 race getting underway at 11am local time (5pm MYT).
“We struggled to get a proper lap together today, but I felt like my rhythm was really good. I had a good pace and it stayed consistent as the track temperature went up, which was good. We’re just losing a bit too much on the two straights, but there were only a couple of us doing the lap alone and that bodes well for the race. We’re consistent and our race pace is good so, although we’ll have our work cut out starting from 15th, I think we can have a good race tomorrow. I think anything is possible, the slipstream here means that even the guy in the lead could slip back to tenth but the opposite can also happen. We’ll just keep working hard and try to make our way to the front.” – John McPhee, 15th (1’36.455)
“This morning I felt really good and put in five really fast laps. Unfortunately I then had a small crash, but I was still first when I came into the pits and quite a bit faster than the other guys. We lost some time on the track and when I went back out at the end I didn’t have the best of laps, but I still made it through to Q2. I didn’t feel comfortable with the bike in Qualifying, felt like I couldn’t go fast and that I couldn’t ride at my maximum. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with the crash, so we’re going to look over everything to see what’s going on. Whatever the race has to throw at us tomorrow, I’m ready. I’m really looking forward to it and, as long as we can fix the feeling with the bike, I’m sure I can have a good race.” – Darryn Binder, 18th (1’36.722)