Motorcycles McPhee apologises for punch-up after Doha Moto3 crash
Seven riders hit with pitlane starts for irresponsible riding
Seven Moto3 riders, including Qatar Grand Prix podium finisher Pedro Acosta, have been slapped with pitlane starts for Sunday’s Doha GP for irresponsible riding in Friday practice. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Pedro Acosta, Red Bull KTM Ajo The dying moments of Friday evening’s Moto3 FP2 led to a logjam of riders exiting pitlane for their final attempts to bag a place inside the top 14 on the timesheets to advance directly into qualifying’s Q2 session.
Petronas Sprinta Moto3 rider John McPhee has issued an apology for fighting with Jeremy Alcoba following a crash late on in the Doha Grand Prix.
McPhee and Gresini rider Alcoba were part of the manic lead group in Sunday’s thrilling Moto3 encounter in Qatar.
Alcoba ran into the back of McPhee’s teammate Darryn Binder at Turn 1 at the start of lap 15, crashing out while his errant Gresini bike flicked into McPhee’s path and hit the Scotsman on the head.
Having been wiped out by another rider for the second-successive race, an incensed McPhee lashed out at Alcoba in the gravel trap, with the Gresini rider also retaliating.
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Both were hit with 1000 euro fines for their behaviour and will start the Portuguese GP from pitlane. Alcoba will be released five seconds after the rest of the pack, with McPhee forced to wait 10s before setting off.
McPhee accepts his punishment and says his reaction was “out-of-character”.
In a statement released on Monday evening, McPhee said: “I let my emotions get the better of me in Qatar, having been taken down for the second week in succession as a consequence of another rider’s mistake.
“I must apologise for my conduct – I didn’t react well to the incident.
John Mcphee, Petronas Sprinta Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose /
“It is an adrenaline-fuelled sport, with obvious inherent danger; having a competitor’s bike strike my head triggered an out-of-character response and I’d like to apologise to the fans, my team, Petronas and our partners.
“I accept the penalty and will move onto Portimao focused on the task at hand.”
One of the pre-season world championship favourites, McPhee leaves Qatar without a single point after Leopard’s Xavi Artigas triggered a multi-rider shunt – which included McPhee – in the Qatar GP.
Sunday’s Doha GP was won by 16-year-old rookie Pedro Acosta, who came from nine seconds off the back of the pack on lap one following a pitlane start to claim a sensational maiden victory.
The Ajo KTM rider now leads the Moto3 standings by nine points from Binder, while Acosta’s teammate and the Qatar GP winner Jaume Masia sits third 13 points adrift.
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