Interview: McPhee ready to return to Brno2017-08-03 16:30
British Talent Team rider readies himself for the Czech GP - one year on from his stunning first GP win at the track
John McPhee took a stunning first Grand Prix win at Brno in 2016, and the Scot is ready to roll as the MotoGP™ paddock return to the venue this season. After a fantastic first half of 2017, it's time to take stock before the engines fire up for Part 2 and Round 10.
The Automotodrom Brno is 5.4km long, with six left- and eight right-handed corners and a longest straight of 636m. The venue is a demanding one for the riders, but the track is always packed to the rafters with fans as the grandstands and general admission areas fill up - offering some of the best views of the year.
First, how would you rate the first half of the season?
John McPhee: “Overall I think it’s been really positive. I have been strong from the word go and have been on the podium three times, also fighting for the win at most races which is great. That was my goal for this season – be at the front from the word go, and we’ve managed that in the majority of races. There's been the odd race where I've struggled more than others but now after some time to re-group we just need to keep the momentum going and and build on it.”
Now we begin the second half of the season, and at a special track for you – the place you took your first win. How do you remember that now?
JM17: “It was something I was dreaming of from a young age. To win it like that and after such a difficult season up to that point was incredible. It’s a feeling you just want to experience again and again, although it takes a while to fully sink in!"
How does it feel to go back to Brno? Do you feel any pressure from having won last season?
JM17: “It’s always a nice feeling to go back to somewhere where you’ve got good memories. This year everything is different for me with the team and the situation, but it’s a big positive to know I’ve won here before. I don’t feel extra pressure because of the win, it’s just good motivation to do it again, and great memories.”
How was summer break? Are you ready for part two?
JM17: “Definitely. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the bike. It’s good to have a break and recharge, and then I’ve been training hard for the second half of the season. Germany wasn’t the best end to the first half of the year but we took the positives and we’ve found some good direction recently with the bike. Hopefully we can build on that in the second half of the season and come back even stronger than the start.”
And finally, it’s go-time. So what are you aiming for this weekend?
JM17: “To be at the front again! We want to be fighting for podiums every weekend and here will be no different. Knowing I’ve won here before is extra motivation, and I’ll be pushing 100% all weekend to get the second half of the season off to the best start. There’s a long way still to go in the Championship and we want to take the maximum points we can in every race, starting here.”
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