The past two days have seen PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 riders John McPhee and Khairul Idham Pawi make progress in their preparations for the 2020 season at a two day private test, held at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto in Spain.
McPhee, who raced for the squad last year, was looking to fine-tune his chassis and suspension settings to maximise his ride ahead of the official Jerez Moto3™ Test next week. John completed 55 laps aboard his Honda on the first day of the test, before adding 50 laps to that total today. He finishes the test with a best time of 1 min 45.989 secs.
Team-mate KIP, who returns to the Moto3 category, utilized the test to rack up as much time on track as possible to re-acclimatize to his NSF250RW. KIP was also able to ensure that he experienced no lingering problems from the injury sustained last season. At the end of the two days the Malaysian rider had ridden a total of 142 laps (71 on each day) with a best time of 1 min 47.455 secs.
The next stop for PETRONAS Sprinta Racing sees them return to Jerez next week for the first official Moto3 pre-season test of the year, which will take place over three days at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto (19-21 February).
Johan Stigefelt – Team Director
With John we started with the base from last year and from there we’ve been trying many things, mostly with the chassis and suspension settings. For John it was really good to be back on the bike that he was riding last year and it helped him a lot, because it is the first time he can do a test like this with a similar bike to last year. With him the lap time was really great, if you ride in the 1 min 45 secs with a Moto3 bike you are super fast! So I’m very pleased with that. For KIP it was more of a different challenge because it was the first time that he’s ridden a Moto3 bike in the dry for many years. It’s very different from the Moto2 bike and it takes time but he’s made some progress. We can see from the data where he must improve and he knows that there is going to be some homework for him ahead of the test next week. KIP will come strong we just need to be patient and his time will be where it needs to be.
Overall it’s been a very productive two days here in Jerez. It was such a nice feeling to do the first laps back again on the bike and to be here with the team altogether to start off the season. Immediately yesterday I felt good: we rode almost exactly the same bike as last year and, for me as rider, it’s the first time I’ve been able to arrive in my career with the same bike, the same team, the same people, so we were really able to start strong and continue working throughout the two days on more important things. We played quite a lot with the geometry and we managed to make a small improvement and then finally today I did my fastest ever lap of Jerez. It was nice to finish the test on a high and to have a really good rhythm on the used tire. We’re now in a good position going forward to the official test and I’m looking forward to the season starting.
Khairul Idham Pawi
After two months we start riding again today and I’m so happy to be back here. I haven’t had any problems with my finger, it feels a little strange but it is good. In the slow corners I’m good and have confidence, but I need to improve in the fast corners as the Moto3 bike behaves differently. But I think this is only the main thing I need to change to improve and be better. We know where we need to improve and I know I can improve my times and be where I need to be. There is not much to improve on the bike. Now I look forward to the test next week.