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John McPhee (British Talent Team) took a stunning first win in the Czech GP in 2016, crossing the line ten seconds clear in the wet to get some payoff after what had been a season of ups and downs. Although then missing the final part of the season through injury, the Scot nevertheless made good progress – and, he says, learnt a lot.
McPhee: "I've got a great opportunity with Dorna"
John McPhee: “Last season was very difficult, with a lot of ups and downs. But finally, step by step, we got stronger and the highlight of the season was at Brno with the first win. Unfortunately there were also a lot of difficult moments when we were fighting for 15th or just outside the points. I felt like I was riding the best I ever have but with some technical problems we couldn’t quite get to the top. It was a difficult season but I learnt a lot and now I’m ready to learn more."
Fast forward a few races from his win and the Scot then crashed during the Australian GP at Phillip Island, with damage to a lung one more of the more serious injuries McPhee suffered in the incident. That rendered him unable to return home for a few weeks as he missed the end of the season and waited to be given the ok to fly - with training for 2017 then delayed until the new year.
JM17: “I’m coming back stronger and stronger now. I’ve listened to the doctors and done everything correctly. There’s only so much time a rider can take to relax and recover, and over winter is the best time for that to happen. I was unfortunate but these things happen and it’s part of the sport. It’s been difficult getting back into training these past ten days or so and I’m working on my fitness.”
2017 will be a big year for McPhee as he fights back to full strength, with the Brit preparing to line up in a whole new team. The Dorna-backed British Talent Team will see Alberto Puig at the helm of the one-rider effort, and McPhee charged with headlining for the first time. A big opportunity with a big goal after his first taste of cava in Brno.
JM17: “I feel like I’ve got a great opportunity. With Dorna behind me, and the team and bike and Alberto managing…I feel like it’s all looking really good. I’m feeling positive and I have my mind set on one target: win races. In Spain and Italy they have many riders coming up but from the UK it’s very difficult to get to MotoGP™. To try to get the funding and support is really difficult. So I think what Dorna are doing now is great. It’s a one-rider team for this season and we’ll see what happens. I hope it can continue and bring on younger riders in the future.”
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