McPhee makes history for Petronas Sprinta with French GP win

McPhee reacts after taking pole on May 18. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Moto3 outfit, Petronas Sprinta Racing notched the team’s first win when its rider, John McPhee of Great Britain wins the French Motorcycle Grand Prix, today.

The 24-year-old Scottish finished the crash-riddled race at the Le Mans circuit in 37 minutes and 48.689 seconds, which saw only 17 of 29 starters finishing the race.

Italian Lorenzo Dalla Porta (+0.106s) of Leopard Racing, finished second, followed by Spaniard Aron Canet (+0.757s) of Sterilgarda Max Racing, while McPhee’s teammate, Ayumu Sasaki finished 14th.

After failing to secure top 10 finishes in the first four races of the season, it was a massive performance from McPhee to claim his career’s second Moto3 win, after tasting his first victory at the Czech Republic in 2016.

“I cannot even explain, I feel so emotional … It has been a long time coming after I struggled the whole season. Looking back at the first four races, it is hard to talk before we get the results because it would have sounded like I was making excuses.

“So I kept quiet and tried to keep my head down, I kept myself knowing that the speed was there every weekend, we topped one session, it showed the pace was there, having a fantastic team around me, so I finally got one good race today,” McPhee, who started on pole, said.

With the win, McPhee moved up to ninth place in the World Championship standing with 34 points after five races.

In the Moto2, Italian Mattia Pasini, who replaced injured Khairul Idham Pawi for Petronas Sprinta Racing, crashed out as early as the second lap after he was unable to avoid a collision with compatriot Lorenzo Baldassarri.

In the MotoGP, both Petronas Yamaha SRT’s riders, Italian Franco Morbidelli and Frenchman Fabio Quartararo secured top 10 positions. Morbidelli finished seventh, 7.187s behind winner Marc Marquez (41:53.647s) of Respol Honda while Quartararo finished eighth (+8.439s).

Ducati’s Italian riders, Andrea Dovizioso (+1.984s) and Danilo Petrucci (+2.142s) finished second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, the country’s first rider to compete in the premier class (MotoGP), Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah collected his first two points of the season after finishing in 14th spot, 35.481s behind reigning world champion Marquez.