John McPhee felt the early stoppage in last week's Moto3 encounter at Le Mans worked against him, as he sought to overcome his lowly 25th place grid position.

A chaotic start saw 16 riders dramatically crash at turn six on lap two after Adam Norrodin had crashed, remounted and deposited oil on the downhill run to the right via his damaged machine.

McPhee was fortunate to escape the fate of 16 other men, but soon realised his task of breaching the top ten would be all the harder, as the restart was run over just 16 laps.

Expecting the soft option rear Dunlop tyre to drop off fairly soon, McPhee opted for the hard, but found no real advantage in the closing laps as he held eighth place, just off the back of a sizeable group fighting for second.

"It was never going to be easy coming from 25th," said McPhee, second in each of the opening two races of the year.

"Then with the laps narrowed down, that made it a bit more difficult for me as I tried to get forward. After the weekend we had it was more about damage limitation for me, trying to score as many points as possible.

"I thought I'd have a bit more in the closing laps when everyone else was dropping off but we went with the hard option rear tyre. It meant we lost some tenths in the beginning.

"We weren't sure how long the 'S' [soft] was going to last. We thought it might have lasted for just ten laps, like it has done in the past, and I would then come a lot stronger. The guys at the front that used the 'S', it seemed to hold on for them. It was a tough weekend but we kind of came back in the right direction.

"I never really got on the back of them. I managed to make my way through quite quickly but that group broke away. Around here the slipstream is worth so much - at least half a second a lap. I didn't have the pace to close that gap in on them.

"I had a bit of a fight with [Bo] Bendsneyder. Both of us ended up dropping back. I don't know how he got away with it but he cut the chicane and got away from me and managed to get back on the group. [It was] One of them [races]. The weekend was tough, but we finished in the points so we can't be too disappointed."

McPhee and his British Talent Team were testing at Le Mans 24 hours on from race day. It was there that the Scot was hopeful of finding improvements that would reverse his fortunes in upcoming races.

"We have a test tomorrow, where we can try and bring things back on track again. It's important that we didn't lose too many points to the guys around me in the championship. We've gone back to what we know. We know that works. It worked in the first few races. It's about trying to improve that tomorrow."

By Neil Morrison

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