The Racing Team Germany rider finished the evening session just under three tenths slower than the pacesetter, Romano Fenati, and afterwards it was clear that McPhee felt that there was more time still to come.
“We made a change to the suspension set-up in the beginning which I wasn’t too sure about, we stiffened it up, but I worked with it and got some more laps under my belt,” said McPhee.
“I was pushing to be consistent on my own so I didn’t follow anyone. In the middle of the session I came in and checked the data and we weren’t sure about the rear shock, we were getting a lot of chatter in the fast corners, so we went back to the rear from yesterday’s set-up and it was instantly much better.”
The change to suspension saw the team stiffen the bike front and rear and with that alteration the balance of the bike changed with improvements under hard braking, but also led to too much chatter from the rear in fast corners.
With the settings reverted to yesterday’s set-up McPhee focused on building a consistent pace before setting his fastest time but afterwards he was confident that there was still time left in himself and the bike.
“I went out and did a few laps and built up some consistency before pushing for a time in the last few minutes,” he added. “I’m really happy with how it went, we’re half a second faster than yesterday, and in the top positions.
“On my fastest lap another rider made a mistake and I had to come back an extra gear so there’s a couple of tenths straight away. I know the areas that I have to improve on and it’s just about stringing together that one lap and for the race I’m feeling confident as long as the level doesn’t get much higher.”
“I’ve definitely seen a change this year and it’s even little things like knowing the airport, knowing what to expect in the country and what to do during the day. All these things make a massive difference but obviously knowing the track is the biggest thing and having a year’s experience really makes a difference,” he said.
“On your first year you’re coming to new tracks and trying to learn with the team but sticking with the team is really nice and they really build your confidence before you even get on the bike.”