29 June 2015
MotoGP Assen: McPhee wants more testing after top-ten tussle
John McPhee reveals he and team-mate Alexis Masbou are pushing for extra testing after he secured a fighting top-ten finish in Holland
John McPhee was buoyed by his first top-ten finish since Jerez but believes more testing is needed should the RTG outfit wish to close the gap on the Moto3 front runners.
The Scot endured three difficult rounds in Le Mans, Mugello and Montmeló as he struggled to carry corner speed in high-speed corners, while first-race winner and team-mate Alexis Masbou encountered similar problems.
As other teams try test between races, McPhee believes extra track time with the Racing Team Germany set up would pay dividends after a preseason that was seriously hampered by rain.
“It's really difficult,” said McPhee after the Moto3 race at Assen. “We've been pushing hard and were supposed to have a lot more testing that we've been having. Both me and Masbou have been pushing for a test but for one reason or another it's not happened. We've had one day this year so far and it doesn't look like we're going to get any more.
“Obviously this is even more frustrating for us because all the other guys that are getting good results are being active and testing between races. We're on the back foot. We've got an issue but we're not going testing to solve the problem. I think that's the main reason why it's taken so long to get back to the front and where we should be. I hope the people that are watching from the outside can see that and it's clear to them what's going on.”
McPhee believes the fact that Masbou, who has scored just eight points since his triumph in Qatar, has faced similar problems with the 2015 Honda, shows the problem does not lie at his end.
“I woulnd't say it's a coincidence that when we go fast we go fast together,” he said. “When we go slow we go slow together. It proves that there is some kind of issue there somewhere. My crew chief and mechanics are working really hard all weekend and really trying to get on top of things but I don't think it's in there hands where the problem lies. It's coming together now and we secured a result.”
Assessing a race in which he was involved in a ten-rider scrap for eighth place, McPhee was noticeably content with tenth place, just 0.2s off Karel Hanika in eighth.
The result was made all the more impressive after a dismal qualifying, when chatter hampered his front end feel and prevented him from placing higher than 23rd on the grid.
“I knew, starting where we where, that we had better pace than that. This place is down to slipstream and you really have to get a good start and get a good couple of laps. I managed to launch it off the start. I don't know what time we did. I made it into the first corner and had made up five places already.
“The first few laps I was really aggressive and defensive and made up the positions that I needed to. From then on it was just a really good, fun race. We were battling back and forward. The good thing was I always had the pace to come toward the front so that was a nice feeling for me. we're back inside the points so we've got to be really happy with that.
“We should be top ten week in week out but after the past few weekends we've been having, we've been way down the field. So, yeah, it's a nice feeling to be back up at this end.”
Asked where the improvements had come from in Holland, McPhee stated not a great deal had changed since his trying weekend in Barcelona.
“We made some improvements this weekend but we're similar to the way we were in Barcelona. Through the weekend in free practice one and two we were ok. Free practice three we started to get some issues but the bike was exactly as it was. In qualifying it was just a disaster. We had loads of chatter, we couldn't turn the bike. We think we might have found something but it's hard to tell because the track wasn't as warm or grippy today. Obviously you're not going to get the chatter.
“Either way we're making progress which is important. It took a long time to happen which is really frustrating for me and Masbou. We're both in the same boat. We managed to secure a result today so I've got to be happy with that.”
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