John McPhee
John McPhee

John McPhee : Moto GP Winner

Maybe it’s just me but I remember Sunday 21st August 2016 very well and I remember exactly where I was that day. I was sat at home on the sofa watching television through my fingers in a way that I hadn’t done since I was about five and used to be scared of the cybermen on Doctor Who, and the reason for such tension? John McPhee was splashing through the rain and gloom of a Czech summer’s afternoon leading the Moto 3 race. Having survived a massive moment when he was thrown out of the seat surely nothing could stop him and indeed he duly delivered and went down in history as a Moto GP winner.
Rain was nothing new for John, after all he was born and still lives in Oban and how many of us have ever been in Oban on a sunny day? Born into a bike mad family he was riding a PW50 aged just five, schoolboy motocross championship titles followed before the switch to road racing at just twelve years old on a 125cc Aprilia RS, however just two races into his first season he caught meningitis and his season came to an abrupt halt. The following year and now fully recovered the first victory duly came along with several podium places. The 2008 season would see him finish with no less than three 125cc titles thanks to 29 race wins and 37 podium places.
A bigger challenge was needed and so the step up to a 125cc GP bike was made and it would be ridden in the British Championship. A broken ankle would curtail his season early but not before he had come to the attention of Mark Keen the boss of the KRP team. A full time ride for the KRP squad followed in 2010 and John won his first British Championship race at Oulton Park in the third round only for it to be taken away due to a discrepancy between two sets of weighing scales used by the organisers. Another win would follow before season’s end to allow him to finish in 5th place in the championship.
With backing from the Racing Steps Foundation another step up was made and John found himself racing in the CEV championship in Spain. Decent results offered him three wildcard rides in Moto GP where he scored his first point for finishing in 15th place at Silverstone. The 2012 season saw the 125cc 2 stroke machines replaced with the new 250cc 4 stroke machines and John raced one in both the CEV series and the Moto 3 championship. Another step up on the career ladder was made for the 2013 season was made and John was now racing full time in the Moto3 championship for the Saxoprint RTG team. His big breakthrough was made in the 2016 season where he claimed his first win in the rain at the Brno circuit. This season John is racing for the newly formed British Talent Team which has been formed specifically to bring though new British talent to the Moto GP championships. Hopefully John McPhee will just be the first of many Scottish riders to race for this team.
Check our timetable to find out when you can come and meet John, ask him your questions and get his autograph as well as the obligatory selfies.