John McPhee and Fraser Rogers will boost the home contingent at next month's British Grand Prix after both were awarded wildcards in the Moto3 class. The teenagers are supported by the Racing Steps Foundation and have impressed so far in the CEV Buckler Moto3 Championship, the high-quality national series in Spain. Both have ridden the KRP-Honda M3-01 and will give the machine its first Grand Prix outing at Silverstone.
McPhee currently lies second in the Spanish Championship, one point behind German Philipp Ottl, after podium finishes at Jerez and Navarra. The Scotsman, who scored points on two occasions as a wildcard last year, will also race at the Catalunya GP next weekend and can't wait to pit himself against the world's best once again.
“It’s great to get the chance to compete at World Championship level again. I learned a lot last year and this will give me another lesson in what it takes to get to the top. The team has done pretty well so far with the new bike in Spain so it will be good to see how competitive we are when we’re up against the World Championship teams and riders.”
16 year old Rogers, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, rode in the CEV Buckler 125cc Championship last year, finishing 18th overall, and has impressed already in the new Moto3 class, finishing a superb sixth at Navarra last month. Rogers is now counting down the days until his Grand Prix debut and admits he couldn't pick a better venue.
“MotoGP has been my dream since I started racing at the age of eight. So to get the opportunity to race in the Grand Prix at Silverstone in front of the British fans is the best news I could have hoped for.”
“The new Moto3 formula and KRP bike have enabled us to take another big step forwards this year. It’s levelled the playing field with everyone having to start from scratch and so far we’ve managed to do a pretty good job. There’s still a fair way to go but we’ve improved round by round in Spain which is really positive, so hopefully we’ll be able to give a good account of ourselves when we get to Silverstone.”
RSF motorcycle racing co-ordinator Peter Ball thinks the news vindicates their project to support young motorcycle racers and can't wait to see the two youngsters show what they can do in front of their home crowd.
“To pick up both wildcards for the British Grand Prix is great news for the Racing Steps Foundation, the team and British motorcycle racing. It shows we made the right rider and team choices after we widened the Foundation’s remit to include motorcycle racing and that the rider development programme we put in place is producing the intended results.”
“Our main aim is to develop a clearly defined and supported pathway to take the next generation of talented British racers to the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and in that respect these wildcards are a big, big help. They give the riders experience at World Championship level as well as much needed exposure. They also confirm that the RSF-backed KRP team and its new M3-01 bike is a British success story in the making.”
“I think it’s fair to say we’re already a force to be reckoned with in the CEV Buckler Championship which has become the undisputed proving ground for the MotoGP riders of the future. The big problem is that with racing in Spain talented young Brits, like our riders, get overlooked back home in the UK. So the chance to demonstrate their talent in front of the international media, the British fans and potential British sponsors is a big plus.”