Brno, 21 August 2016:
The only Indian constructor in World Championship racing made more history at Brno today, when the Mahindra MGP3O Moto3 machine took first and second places in a rain-soaked Czech Republic Grand Prix.
The winner was Scotsman John McPhee, splashing through the spray to take his own first GP victory and a first for the new-this-year Peugeot MGP3O, sister brand to Mahindra. He was over eight seconds clear at the flag.
Spanish teenager Jorge Martin (Aspar Mahindra Team) took a career-best second place, giving the official Mahindra team its fifth podium of its best season so far.
The MGP3O's double comes just three races after the marque's historic first win in the Dutch TT at Assen. The rider in that dry race was Aspar Mahindra Team's Pecco Bagnaia, and it was the 19-year-old Italian's fourth time on the top-three podium in Mahindra's best year to date.
Bagnaia was one of many to crash out of today's race, hampered by tyre problems that meant he had to push over the limit to try to stay in a points-scoring position.
After two days of sunshine in practice and qualifying, race day was sodden, with steady rain keeping the majestic 5.403-km circuit streaming wet, and sending several fancied riders slithering off into the gravel.
One was long-time race leader and championship favourite Brad Binder (KTM), who succumbed to relentless pressure from McPhee, the first Scotsman to win a motorcycle grand prix since Bob McIntyre in 1962.
McPhee was then alone up front, but in a heart-stopping moment on the third-last of the 19-lap race, his bike slid sideways and threatened to throw him off. He was able to regain control thanks to extensive development work on Mahindra's electronic traction-control system.
Martin (18) had started from the front row for the first time, after qualifying fourth then getting moved up because of another rider's penalty. The white-liveried Mahindra led off the line and was a second clear by the end of the first lap.
Only on lap six did Binder take over the lead, and marvellous Martin stayed with the lead group of four, awaiting developments on the treacherous surface.
As the 19-lap race wore on, he had to resist a fierce and prolonged attack from third-placed Fabio Di Giannantonio (Honda), who finally dropped away by almost a second at the flag.
A one-two finish had been the next target for the maturing Mahindra project, after the first win in the Netherlands.
The next race is the British GP at Silverstone in two weeks.
John McPhee - First Position
"I am still trying to let it sink in. Today was kind of hard. I had a good strategy for the dry and had won a good starting position, but in the rain it is so difficult to make a plan. I knew I had to be in the front group, and then wait and see. Brad [Binder} had a good rhythm, so I decided to follow him then attack in the last laps. Unfortunately for him he fell off. Then I had to keep calm and keep my own rhythm. I was trying to read my pit board but my visor was fogged. I couldn’t see if I was leading by 12 seconds or 1.2 seconds. After I had a big moment with three laps to go I looked over my shoulder, and I could see I had a clear lead."
Jorge Martin - Second Position
"Really happy with this position. In the Warm Up I really didn't feel good but we used a similar setting to John who was strong and in the race I was really fast because of this. I was pushing so much and I knew that the front riders had a bit of a better pace, but I kept my rhythm and finally I finished in the podium."
Mufaddal Choonia - CEO Mahindra Racing
"When we made history with our first win at Assen, our next aim was to have two MGP3O machines on the podium, preferably first and second. It is all the better to have achieved this so soon, and with our sister brand Peugeot Motocycles. Today we proved that the Mahindra package can win races in both wet and dry conditions. I really doff my hat to John and Jorge, who both rode brilliant races in very difficult conditions. Now we in Mahindra are getting ready for a champagne shower!"
About Mahindra Racing
In 2016, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its fifth year in the Moto3TM class of MotoGPTM and remains the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and three customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2016 Mahindra Racing line-up includes: Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 - Jorge Martin (SPA), Francesco Bagnaia (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint - Albert Arenas (SPA), John Mcphee (GB); Platinum Bay Real Estate - Marcos Ramirez (SPA), Darryn Binder (RSA); CIP-Unicom Starker- Fabio Spiranelli (ITA), Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN); 3570 Team Italia - Stefano Valtulini (ITA), Lorenzo Petrarca (ITA).
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor. The MGP3O recorded top-five finishes in 10 of the 17 rounds in 2013 as well as a pole position, three circuit lap records and third in the constructors' rankings. The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian motorcycle, including second place at the Sachsenring. In 2015, the Mahindra regularly fought at the front of the ultra-competitive Moto3TM class and recorded a podium finish at Le Mans.
2016 got off to a strong start for Mahindra Racing with Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The podiums continued in Jerez and Mugello before Pecco made history with victory in Assen, Mahindra's first in the World Championship. It was a historic day for everyone involved and proved the high level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. As well as its commitment in the World Championship, Mahindra continues to supply MGP3O machines to Team Aspar to compete in World Championship feeder series, the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2016.
Mahindra's bold decision to take on the world's best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India, including: the NDTV Car and Bike Awards - 'Mobil 1 Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012 and 2013; the Bike India Magazine - 'Motorsport Award', 2013; and 'ZigWheels Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012. Mahindra also won ‘Racing Bike of the Year' at the Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016.
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