McPhee and Binder battle through field to claim seventh and ninth at Spielberg
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s Moto3 riders fight back to secure strong points haul at AustrianGP
The Moto3 race at a sunny and warm Spielberg saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee and Darryn Binder work their way through the field, to end the AustrianGP seventh and ninth respectively.
A good start for McPhee saw him hold onto his 14th place on the opening lap, before the Scot started to make his way steadily up the order. Holding station inside the top-ten, he worked with his team-mate in closing the gap to join the leaders on lap 14. After trading places with Binder several times, John ultimately found himself adrift of the riders ahead and ended the AustrianGP seventh. McPhee moves to 13th in the world championship with 49 points.
After maintaining his 17th place off the line, Binder quickly got to work making his way through the field and was inside the top-ten on lap 4. Settling into a good rhythm in seventh, the South African started to chase down the top-six and joined the leading group on lap 14. Running with team-mate McPhee for the majority of the race, Darryn was unable to stay with the riders ahead and was ninth at the chequered flag. With 86 world championship points, he sits sixth in the riders’ standings.
The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing squad will now enjoy a short rest, before heading to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix (27-29 August) – McPhee’s home race.
“It was a hard race because we can see that on the straights we struggled to stay with the riders ahead, but they did their best and both riders were fighting hard. In the end both John and Darryn rode a great race, but you need good top speed at this track and you need to be able to pass riders in the slipstream. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that today. I think comparing where they started the race to where they finished; it’s a decent result. I’m happy with that and to see the guys fighting hard was good. It’s not always possible to reach the podium, so it’s enough for them to have done their best today.” – Johan Stigefelt, Team Director
“I’m happy with my efforts today, as I felt like we had to ride hard to finish where we did. Coming from 14th on the grid, it was never going to be easy, but I managed to make my way forward without too much difficulty. We’ve seen that this circuit is really strong for other manufacturers, so we had our work cut out on the straights. Darryn and I were working together for the first half of the race, but I realised I had a little bit more pace and I was able to pull us back onto the group. Once we were there though it was difficult to make our way through, but I managed to get one at the end. To finish seventh today was a solid result, so I’m happy with that, and we’ve made a good step forward. I’m now looking forward to my home GP at Silverstone.” – John McPhee, 7th (+1.331)
“It was a difficult race. Starting 17th is never fun and I thought it was going to be easier to get to the front. Unfortunately there was that break in the group and, although I was chasing as hard as I could, I just couldn’t catch them. Luckily John was right behind me and when he came through he brought us up to the group. Once I had the slipstream I passed two or three guys, but I didn’t have the speed to stay there. A break appeared again and I just couldn’t catch back up. At the end I was slowly starting to get back again, but we just didn’t have the speed today. I tried my best but it is what it is. I’m now looking forward to racing again at Silverstone, after not going there for two years.” – Darryn Binder, 9th (+2.399)