John’s Blog: Testing in Spain

Hi everyone,

Well it feels like the 2017 season has now really begun, following some great training over the last few weeks out here in Spain and now my first two days testing on the new bike at Valencia.

I’m really glad to be back on a bike with the target of the World Championship ahead of me once again.

I had a longer off-season than usual following my enforced break with the tumble in Australia. I had to be satisfied watching out the Malaysian and Valencia Grands Prix whilst convalescing in sunny Melbourne. On the positive side I’ve always enjoyed the country and the people, who always seem to have a great love for life. Having spent a few weeks there exploring and enjoying some great hospitality, it feels a bit like my second home now!

After returning to the UK I had to take it easy over the winter as I wasn’t allowed to start training again properly until part way through January in the new year.

Come January I was back to Spain and out on the motocross/Supermoto bike and doing some cycling to get back in shape. I joined Alberto Puig and the Asia Talent riders at a training camp for a few days for a hard push before getting back to Moto 3 again. We spent each morning on the bicycle doing some long rides with lots of climbs. Then it was motocross drills in the afternoons with some really different but fun techniques.

The new British Talent Team has come together quickly and we were all working really well together at our first test in Valencia last week. I feel at home with the new team already and this makes it very exciting going into the new season with them!

The weather wasn’t great in Valencia as it was quite cold and on the first day and there was a strong wind, which you often get at this circuit. I did over 50 laps each day, so we had some solid track time to get used to the new bike and used the time to really just get a feel for everything again. The new Honda felt really good from the moment I got on and by the end of the second day I was feeling very comfortable with all we had achieved and learnt.

I was also very happy with my own levels of fitness and after the two days on the bike I still felt strong, so I don’t think my fitness levels have dropped as much as I thought they might have.
To match the new bike I’ve also got some great new leathers from Macna, Who have looked after me very well.

So all in all I’m really looking forward to the next test in Jerez next week. Until then I’ve got a chance to do some more training here in Spain and really try to get back to full fitness.

Thanks for following how I’m doing and we’ll keep you up-to-date with how things go here on my website, on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

My best wishes to you all, and thanks as always for your fantastic support,
John

John’s Blog: Thanks to you all for your support this year

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Hi everyone,

Now that the season has come to an end, I want to thank everyone, including my fans who helped and supported me on this roller coaster season.

Looking back over the year, I really have many people to thank and so much to be grateful for, starting with Enrico, and everyone at Peugeot for giving me the opportunity to be their factory rider. It was an honour to win my first GP on a Peugeot, giving them their first race win since 1906!

When Florian Prustel and his dad became the new team owners mid season, they really pulled the team together in all areas. It was a big step for them, but thankfully their passion for the team and sport led us to continue the rest of the season in an even stronger way than we started. Our sport needs people like them and I wish them the best.

I enjoyed working with everyone in the Prustel GP team. We all moved forward through the year and made some really strong results by the end of the season. My biggest thank you needs to go to my crew chief Mark Keen, for always giving me his best and getting the best from the bike. We both need to thank my mechanics, Alejandro and Diego, all the guys at Mahindra for their support, Alex and Ohlins, along with all the people at Dunlop.

Finishing the season stuck over here in Melbourne definitely wasn’t the way I had planned on ending my year but I’m on the mend and making progress daily. I’ve been back in the gym doing some light training and I’m eager to get back to full fitness. My second operation is scheduled for the 2nd of December.

I will be having the pins removed from my thumb and the next day my chest and lungs will be reviewed. If everything goes well, I will be flying home on the 5th of December. Although I’m stuck here, there is definitely worse places to be. Melbourne is a great city and I’ve been able to look around, which isn’t something I can usually do. I am very thankful for Victor (with me in the photo) and Jenny Soussan for looking after me while I’ve been here and making their home feel like mine.

Luckily, I’ve also had my family here at different times to visit me which has been great, considering they’ve had to travel across to the other side of the world.

I need to give a huge thank you to Peter Ball and all at Racing Steps Foundation and to my sponsors: Walker Macleod, Caladen, Vroom Media, Cairngorm stoves, PolePositionTravel, Ducati Glasgow, Scorpion, IXS, Knox and Alpinestars. Without your help and support, this season wouldn’t have been possible.

To all of you reading this, thank you for all the support and your messages. It really means a lot to me to know you’re all there for me. I’m looking forward to getting back in shape and seeing you all again in 2017. I will keep you up to date on how my training is going over winter once I’m back home.

John

Medical update: John faces enforced stay in Australia for treatments and recovery

Following further tests in the St. Kilda Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, doctors have now found that both of John’s lungs were perforated in the Phillip Island crash and he has lost around 40% of their function at present. He has been told this will heal naturally but it will take some weeks to regain their performance.

He can exercise gently to help their healing and has a further appointment in two weeks to check progress. At this time, they are now suggesting he will not be able to fly for four to five weeks. So as a result of this he will get an enforced holiday down under!

Today John’s parents have driven him upcountry to the specialist who will operate on his thumb and make additional checks as the further tests have also shown some displacement of other bones in his hand.

He is staying positive, but is naturally very frustrated that his recovery will take some time. He will not only miss the last two races this year, just when his crew had really got the Peugeot performing at its best, but may now be excluded from end of season tests to prepare for next year.

John ask us to thank you all so much for your messages of support here and on Facebook – it means a huge amount to him!

John remains in hospital, will miss Sepang and unlikely for Valencia

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Following his huge accident in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Sunday, John McPhee remains in the care of the St. Kilda Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Tests have shown he has small pockets of air trapped between his lungs and chest wall: A pneumothorax. Until these air pockets reduce in size, John cannot fly. The condition of his lungs is being monitored and, when satisfactory, he will fly back to the UK.

Specialists will also operate on his broken thumb later this week.

“I’m very comfortable”, said John, “and the staff at The Philip Island circuit, the clinica mobile and here at the hospital have been fantastic. Considering the bang I had I don’t feel so bad and now I just want to get back to full fitness again as soon as possible”.

As a result of this, John will certainly miss Malaysia and also probably the last race at Valencia.

John McPhee injured in crash at Phillip Island, will miss Sepang

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Weather conditions improved for race day with lots of sun but it didn’t shine for John McPhee and the Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT team.

After qualifying for fourth position but starting from seventh spot on the grid due to a penalty, John got a brilliant start and even more he was able to set a blistering pace during the opening laps, involved in a great battle for the leading position before he crashed at Lukey Heights on lap six.

The race was stopped by red flags immediately. Two other riders involved in this accident escaped harmless.

John got first treatment trackside before he was transported to the Medical Center at the Phillip Island circuit where the doctors diagnosed a slight concussion and a broken thumb on his left hand.

Following the first examination McPhee was lifted to the St. Kilda Alfred Hospital in Melbourne for further checks and CRT.

John will miss the Malaysian Grand Prix in one week.

John McPhee delivers best qualifying result of the year with 5th in Australia

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Qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix was the first session this weekend run on a dry track mainly. All riders and teams started with dry settings but as soon they hit the track they were forced to return to their garage due to a brief rain shower.

Therefore, Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT decided for two different strategies for the remaining session. Whilst Albert Arenas’ crew-chief Anton Gruschka opted to wait for a completely dried out track, his opposite Mark Keen and John McPhee returned soon after to action but the Peugeot Moto3 machine equipment with rain tyres.

The Scottish rider found himself in great shape with the bike and conditions and first he set a new benchmark at this time. As long his competitors were also with a rain setting out on track, McPhee’s lap time was good enough for a possible front row start.

But then, the sun came out drying the track and the wild Moto3 pack found track conditions at its best this weekend so far. As all others, McPhee made a brief visit to his box, changing to a dry setting and again he was a pace setter. However, with four minutes to go the session was stopped by red flags due to an incident at turn twelve.

As soon the session was continued McPhee headed out for a final time attack but whereas he did his lap times before all alone, this time there were a massive group out there, taking benefit from each other’s slipstream at the long main straight.

McPhee bettered his sector times during his fastest lap but missed narrowly a front row start or even pole-position for tomorrow Moto3™ Australian Grand Prix. Anyway, fifth spot on the grid marks the team best qualifying position so far this year.

Because of the massive difference in time with nine hours to Central Europe starting time for the 16th points haul in Moto3 category is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm local time which means 4:00am CET.

#17 John McPHEE, Grid position 5th – 1´38.661 (16/16):
“We can be happy to start from the second row, our best qualifying result so far this year. But it’s strange as I’m disappointed at the same time because I feel that a front row start was definitely possible today. Nevertheless, we did a great job and I must say thank you to my guys because they made the bike working really, really good. In wet conditions I knew that we can fight for pole-position and also in the dry, as qualifying was the first session under dry conditions, the bike felt that much good. So thanks to them for making that possible. At the end of qualifying I just felt that with a perfect lap we can start from the front row. But anyway, the race is tomorrow, we have a good starting position and I think we can do a good job.”

Source: Peugeot MC SAXOPRINT

John McPhee tops FP2 on opening day in Australia

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After two sunny days preparing for the race weekend in Down Under, the sky darkened for day one of practice and as soon as on-track proceedings got underway it started to rain with pretty cool temperatures. So difficult conditions for teams and riders in order to start to set up their machines for this Sunday’s Moto3™ Australian Grand Prix at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit.

Scottish rider John McPhee on the left side in the Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT garage started the weekend in Down Under on the right foot after he set twelfth fastest lap time in the morning on a wet track. But as the day went on the weather and conditions got even worse which didn’t bother the experienced 22-year-old rider when he topped FP2 this afternoon.

Moto3 action is set to continue with Saturday morning’s FP3 before the starting grid will be decided in qualifying at lunch time.

#17 John McPHEE, FP1: P12 – 1´51.848 (12/12) / FP2: P1 – 1´54.692 (3/4):
“We can be happy with the today as we topped this afternoon’s session. We had a plan and a good strategy for free practice two which saw to check to areas where we had problems this morning. I just did three or four laps and I could see that this was fixed so I didn’t push so hard for a lap time and we made a good time anyway. But also everything was feeling good so for the remaining session we just waited in the box and kept an eye on the proceedings on track. The conditions were really difficult this afternoon and it wasn’t really worth taking too much risk today. The bike is working well and the objective we had to improve was all fixed soon. So we can look forward to tomorrow.”

Source: Peugeot MC SAXOPRINT

John wiped out by another rider in first corner crash at Motegi

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Japan’s sunny autumn weather remained also for race day at the challenging Twin Ring Motegi to provide a spectacular competition in great conditions on Sunday morning. The Moto3 race was another great show by the wild youngsters racing on World Championship level.

After the team’s great qualifying performance delivered by Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT’s John McPhee who qualified for the sixth row on Saturday, expectations were high for the race. But sadly it was over before it had barely begun for John who was unlucky in turn one after the start when he was taken out by another rider who crashed in front of him.

The series is set to head to the next destination immediately with the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix scheduled in just one week.

#17 John McPHEE – DNF (World Championship position 19th, 48 points):
“I need to say sorry to my team because only of the hard work they did over the weekend to finish the race like this. Frankly, it wasn’t my fault as another rider crashed and there was no way for me to avoid him and we finished the race at the first corner. This was just a racing incident. So after this I just need to look forward to next week. Fortunately, that the next race is in one week and I’m already focussed on this. We were strong all weekend here in Japan and after a look on the lap times and everything I know I could do a good race today, which is annoying for sure. But anyway, as I said it was a race incident and I focus on the next races.”

Source: Peugeot MC SAXOPRINT