McPhee claims WorldSSP podium in debut, Rea ‘yipping it up in the garage’

A stunning first race in WorldSSP for John McPhee ended with the Kawasaki rider taking his first podium in the series, whilst getting a new fan in the form of six-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea.
John McPhee, Kawasaki WorldSSP Phillip Island 2023
John McPhee, Kawasaki WorldSSP Phillip Island 2023

Both contracted to Kawasaki, it’s no surprise that Rea was pleased to see his fellow Brit secure his maiden WorldSSP podium, especially after he played a role in aiding Ana Carrasco during her time with the Japanese manufacturer, during which she went on to win the 2018 WorldSSP300 title. 

Prior to also claiming his first podium of the season thanks to a second place result in Race 1, Rea admitted to feeling uneasy as the Supersport riders headed out in full wet conditions for their first of two races this weekend, however, that soon turned to joy based on the outcome.

"I was nervous for the WorldSSP riders who raced before us and I started getting anxious even before our race started, just watching them," said Rea. 

"A big shout out to John McPhee in WorldSSP (who took his Kawasaki to a podium finish in his first ever WorldSSP race). I was yipping it up in the garage when he was racing. 

"So I went to see him in Parc Ferme after his race, and ask how the conditions were in the full wet. I was pretty convinced to make a full wet set-up for Race One."

A red flag on lap four saw the first WorldSSP race of the new campaign stopped for a brief delay, after Yari Montella and Adrian Huertas were involved in an accident. 

Once the action restarted, McPhee made the most of his chance as he consolidated his P3 position, which was the spot he occupied on lap four despite starting 20th. 

McPhee was not the only Brit to make an impact on his Supersport debut as Tarran Mackenzie finished fifth for MIE MS Racing Honda.

Continuing the theme of firsts for different riders, Nicholas Spinelli also claimed his maiden WorldSSP podium after finishing second, while it was a first-ever win for Nicolo Bulega.

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