Jerez de la Frontera, 07 May 2017: Mahindra Racing's hopes of regaining momentum in the return to Europe came to fruition in Jerez today, with official team rider Albert Arenas picking up his and the team's first points of the year with a hard-fought 14th place.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, who had qualified an equal career-best 13th, battled hard with more experienced riders for the lead of a pursuit group locked in a bitter fight for 12th place. Arenas had placed third in morning warm-up and was confident for the race. Trapped by his starting position in the chase pack, he was less than a second off the lead, after 23 laps of hard racing around the iconic 4.423-km circuit in the south of Spain.
Team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta was exchanging places with his team-mate for the first half of the race, but lost speed as the tyres wore down during the 101.8-km race. He finished 19th, losing 18th place to Jakub Kornfeil on the Peugeot-badged Mahindra in the closing stages.
Mahindra, the only Indian constructor in the world championship, had a disappointing time in the first three races, after recording its best-ever season in 2016, with three race wins. The three flyaway races brought scant rewards to the new and less experienced rider line-up, after a major upgrade to the MGP3O Moto3 machine.
The Italy-based race department and the Spanish official Aspar team remained confident, however, that a return to more familiar tracks in Europe would help the riders to achieve the full potential of the single-cylinder 250cc racing machine.
Today's race brought a first win to Spanish Honda rider Aron Canet.
Jerez marked the start of the high-intensity European season. The next race is the French GP at Le Mans in a fortnight.
Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3
"After a really good Warm Up we were confident of having a good race, aiming to stay in the first group. It was really difficult because we haven't done this yet but we still tried. In the first lap the group was broken and we just tried to keep our pace to stay at the head of the second group. It was good to gain the first points for me and for Mahindra, now it's important to continue in this way. But it's a shame, I had an incident in the last corner with another rider when I was 12th. I'm not happy about this because it was quite an ugly move by him but I have learned about this and next race it's my turn."
Mufaddal Choonia, Mahindra Racing CEO
"It seems that this weekend we have taken a small step forward and broken into the points. It was good to see Albert's strong and consistent pace in the race, and he would have got a better result if he hadn't been mugged by the same rider who seems to have an affinity for Mahindra riders. Now we hope to keep improving, and we'll continue working to put Mahindra where we need to be, well up into the top ten and with more to come."
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, 2013 and 2017; 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. A successful 2016 campaign also saw Mahindra win Autocar’s Motosport Award in 2017 as well as the Times Fast Bikes Bikesport Award.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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A USD 17.8 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.
In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award in the ‘Emerging Markets’ category in 2013.
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