Termas de Rio Hondo, 09April 2017:Mahindra were just three places away from the points in today's Argentine GP, second round of the 2017 World Championship series in the ultra-close Moto3 class.
But close is not good enough for the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing, especially after three race victories in 2016, and the team is looking forward to fighting hard in the remaining 16 rounds.
While teams and riders face one more "flyaway" race in two weeks in Texas, Mahindra's Italy-based race engineers will be striving to maximise the obvious potential of the new-this-year version of the 250cc MGP3O, and looking forward to the start of the week-in/week-out grind of the European season.
For the six Mahindra riders – five of them Grand Prix rookies – the goals are still clear, on a completely revised MGP3O machine that showed strong speed potential and the bike's trademark impeccable handling in pre-season tests.
Today's race, run over 21 laps of the fast and rhythmic lakeside Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, in the northern reaches of Argentina, brought a second victory to Honda-mounted Joan Mir.
The top MGP3O finisher was again experienced Czech racer Jakub Kornfeil, improving on his Qatar result two weeks ago, in 18th place on the Peugeot MC Saxoprint machine, badged for Mahindra's sister company. The official Aspar Mahindra Team riders had mixed fortunes. Albert Arenas was 25th, after coming back from a heavy crash on Saturday. Team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta retired to the pits.
The next round is the US Round, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in two weeks.
Mufaddal Choonia, Mahindra Racing CEO
"Clearly we are extremely disappointed with the way the first two races have gone. We have to really put our heads down and see where we can improve. Our first target is to get as many Mahindra riders in the points as possible. We knew it would be difficult considering five of our six riders are rookies, which makes our job even harder. But these are not excuses. We need to get going."
Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra Team
"Our goal was to try to take advantage of the starting position to catch a good group and hold on for the race. However we didn’t make the right tyre choice, and that spoiled everything. The tyre was completely gone … it was like being on water; I was almost crashing all the time. From there, I just tried to stay on the bike and finish the race."
About Mahindra Racing
In 2017, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its sixth year in the Moto3™ class of MotoGP™ 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 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 – Albert Arenas (SPA), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint – Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN); CIP-Unicom Starker- Manuel Pagliani (ITA), Marco Bezzecchi (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 Moto3™ 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. Two more victories followed with John McPhee dominating the field in a wet Czech GP before Bagnaia took a wonderful seven-second win in Sepang.
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 2017. Grand Prix legend Max Biaggi will spear head Mahindra's effort in the CIV, the Italian Championship.
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.
For further information please visit: mahindraracing.com
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