Staying with the same team, machine and crew for the first time in his grand prix career has been a 'really valuable' experience for John McPhee, as he heads into the 2020 Moto3 season.

The Scot - who claimed the Sepang squad's first grand prix victory at Le Mans last season, plus two further podiums and a pair of poles - has raced six different brands of machine for seven different teams since his 2010 debut.

But the stability provided by remaining at Petronas has allowed McPhee to prepare better than ever for this year's world championship.

"Overall the 2020 pre-season has been really productive. It’s the first time in my racing career that I have the same bike, team and crew for two seasons in a row, so that’s something really valuable," said McPhee.

"It means that we have been able to focus purely on riding and finding the correct feeling with the bike. After the last few days testing here in Qatar, I feel ready and I’m really looking forward to the first race.

"Obviously as a rider the test is important, but the race is where the action really begins."

McPhee was eighth fastest (+0.7s) at the recent test in Qatar, where team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi was 24th out of 31 riders.

In contrast to McPhee, there has been a major change for Pawi this winter, having switched from Moto2 to Moto3, where he made history for Malaysia with two wins during a lone 2016 season in the 250cc class.

This Sunday will also see Pawi line-up on a grand prix grid for the first time since April last year, after an injury-wrecked 2019.

"It hasn’t been an easy pre-season but I think we’ve been progressing every day and our adaptation to the Moto3 bike is going the right way. We still need to ride more kilometres and achieve more experience though," Pawi said.

"I’m really excited to start the first race of the season and make my official return to the Moto3 category. It will also be my first race after nearly a year, when I raced in Austin, so I have to admit that I’m a little bit nervous – but that means I need to race!

"The first target will be to complete the race and fight for the points. The MotoGP cancellation has changed the race time so we will race in different track conditions with respect to last weekend’s tests."

The cancellation of the MotoGP category at Losail means the Moto2 and Moto3 class action will take place later in the day than originally planned.