Solid start to SanMarinoGP for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing
Seventh for McPhee in Moto3 Free Practice at Misano; Binder ninth despite FP2
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing got the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini off to a good start today, with John McPhee and Darryn Binder claiming seventh and ninth in the day’s Moto3 Free Practice – despite a Turn 16 crash for Binder.
After riding Jake Dixon’s Moto2 bike last weekend, McPhee used FP1 to help reacclimatise to his regular machinery. The Scot ended the 40-minute session 22nd, after posting a best lap time of 1min 43.723secs. John had a steady start to the afternoon’s FP2 session, opting to set his flying lap late on in the session – 1min 42.777secs. Ending the lap just before the rain started to fall in the final moments of FP2, McPhee ended the day with the seventh fastest time.
It was another strong start to FP1 for Binder, who initially held the top spot and stayed inside the top-four for the first ten minutes. Continuing to improve throughout the session, his fastest lap – 1min 43.225secs – placed him 12th. The South African was quick to improve upon his morning time, holding top spot early on in FP2 with a 1min 42.850secs lap. Despite a Turn 16 highside for Darryn with 18 minutes left on the clock, he was still able to finish FP2 eighth and was ninth overall.
Track action will resume at 9am local time (3pm MYT) with FP3 for McPhee and Binder, with the first of the two Moto3 Qualifying sessions due to get underway at 12.35pm local time (6.35pm MYT).
John McPhee, 7th (1’42.777): “It was a lot more difficult than I thought to go from the Moto2 bike back to the Moto3 one! I’ve been in the Moto3 category for a while now, so I thought I should be able to come back and be quick straightaway, but my feeling on the first few laps surprised me.
It wasn’t easy and I don’t think my FP1 position was really representative of where we were at, but in FP2 we were back to normal and I finished seventh. Riding the bigger bike has changed how I ride my Moto3 one; I’m braking later in the corner, preparing the exit and, although it might not be best for a lap time, it should benefit us in the race. We’re ready for all conditions, whether it’s wet, dry or mixed and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.“
Darryn Binder, 9th (1’42.850): “It’s been a good first day at Misano, apart from the crash. I started steady this morning and slowly built up from there. I felt really strong at the beginning of FP2, but unfortunately I had a highside in the middle run as I was just pushing a little bit too much.
Luckily I feel okay and I’m ready to keep working tomorrow, to get closer to the top. We got really lucky today with two dry sessions, so if it’s dry tomorrow we’ll be all good, but we’ll just have to wait and see what the weather brings.“
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