“I Can’t Wait to get racing again!” Q&A with John McPhee

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Above: Packed and ready to go. Another long season of travelling and racing lies ahead…


With the new season about to get underway in Qatar, John McPhee tells us what he’s been up to over the winter break and what his expectations are for the forthcoming races as he gets set for a third season with SAXOPRINT RTG.

How was the off season break?

Good, in fact I started the winter break off with a trip to NewYork! Somewhere I have always wanted to go, so while I had the chance my girlfriend and I made the most of it! Although I travel a lot throughout the year I very rarely see much more than airports and the inside of a truck or pitbox. So it made a real change to do all the touristy things possible, we had a great time!

Once I got home I spent a lot of time with friends and family, catching up with everyone. I love the winter time at home and love Christmas too. All very relaxing to help charge up the batteries again.

I tried to ride a bike nearly every day wether it was motocross, trials, or mountain bike! This was the main part of my training while I ticked over till the new year and I absolutely loved it. Takes me back to where it all started and reminds me why I’m here doing what I do now!

I also took up snowboarding which I absolutely hated for the first few days. I spent more time sitting in the snow than on my feet! But I quite quickly started to love it and now any chance I get at home I’m checking the snow report to see if I can get up on the hill!!

I have the luxury of living within an hour to two snow resorts so I just wish I took advantage of them years ago!

How has the first testing gone?

The weather has been very poor which has made it a bit difficult. I did the first two official tests of last year and then finally got the new bike for the last Jerez test. Unfortunately with the weather conditions I’m now turning up at Qatar doing a total of 24 laps but feeling really good with what little track time I’ve had. Also things are working really well with my crew chief Toni and my two mechanics Franck and Simon so this gives me a lot of confidence for the new season.

What’s your relationship like with new SAXOPRINT RTG team mate Alexis Masbou?

Alexis is a good guy with a lot of experience! We have been working well together so far and I hope we can continue this on as the season continues.

What’s your goal for this year?

Obviously the target is to challenge for podiums and race wins! We need to take each race as it comes and it’s definitely not going to be easy but I will be giving it 100 percent from the first race.

How competitive do you think you’ll be this year?

Moto3 is always very tough and looking like it’s going to be the toughest year yet! HRC have given a great bike and I feel good but still difficult to say at the minute with lack of testing.

What was biggest thing learnt last season?

I had many races where I was battling at the front last year and I had to change my way of riding to battle with these guys. Working with my crew chief Toni was great and he taught me a lot about where I can improve on the bike. I think this was the biggest change from the previous year.

Are you looking forward to getting back out there again?

Yes!! I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming and now I’m fully motivated to get going and get back out on track.