The Scotsman stuns Sepang for an incredible first win since 2020, pipping Sasaki and Garcia.
John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) took an unbelievable win at the PETRONAS Grand Prix of Malaysia, making the perfect attack at the final corner to come out on top for the first time since San Marino 2020 – and from P22 on the grid. The Scotsman just pipped teammate Ayumu Sasaki to the line by 0.048, with Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) completing the podium after losing out late on.
Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) suffered some late drama, having to avoid Sasaki after the Japanese rider suffered a moment, leaving the reigning Champion down in P12.
After a freight train start, bit by bit a top six of Guevara, Sasaki, Jaume Masia (Red Bull TKM Ajo), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), Garcia and Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) broke away at the front, but there was some decisive drama with four to go. Sasaki had a bobble on the main straight after overtaking Guevara, and the number 28 had to bail out and take some avoiding action, heading off onto the grass and dropping back. Meanwhile, McPhee had bridged the gap and was more than in the fight for victory.
That left Garcia leading Sasaki, Masia, Foggia, Moreira and McPhee, and starting the last lap the number 11 was holding firm ahead of Foggia. And then everyone overtook everyone all at once, or so it seemed, with the Leopard going for a move on the Aspar and then the rest of the lap largely two or three abreast. As the gaggle headed into the final corner, it was McPhee who pitched it to perfection, hugging the inside line and then tucking in for the final drag to the flag. Teammate Sasaki went toe-to-toe with the Scotsman but couldn’t quite make it stick, with McPhee taking an emotional first win since 2020 by just 0.048. Garcia takes third and another valuable podium, gaining points on Foggia too, as did Sasaki.
Foggia finished sixth in the shuffle, with Masia taking fourth and Moreira fifth. That concluded the front group after Guevara was forced to drop out of it earlier, and the second group was fronted by Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in seventh, just ahead of Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets – MSI), Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) – with Guevara next up in P12 a small gap back.
Heading into Valencia it’s Garcia keeping the advantage in the fight for silver – and the Circuit Ricardo Tormo is his playground. Tune in for more in two weeks as Moto3™ round out the season in style!
1 John McPhee (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) – Husqvarna – 38’04.589
2 Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) – Husqvarna – +0.048
3 Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) – GASGAS – +0.146
John McPhee: “I’m proud of myself for that one. That one, I had to dig so deep. It’s been such a tough season, such a tough weekend. Yesterday, honestly, I nearly went and stopped. I was just having so many issues and felt dangerous on the bike. So, just so happy for me, happy for the guys that have supported me. That one was for everyone that stuck behind me and supported me. One last win in Moto3™ and we’ve got one more opportunity in Valencia.”
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