Le Mans, 08 May 2016:
Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia preserved Mahindra's perfect 2016 points record in the French GP at Le Mans today, with a hard-fought 12th place, seven places higher than his qualifying position.
After two top-three podiums in the first four races this year, the Italian teenager had hoped for better. But at a quirky circuit that favours different machine characteristics from those of the Mahindra MGP3O, he made the most of his opportunities to continue building the overall score.
The race was run over 24 laps of the 4.185-km "stop-and-go" Bugatti circuit at the famous motor sport venue in the west of France. The Mahindra, made by the only Indian constructor in the World Championship, shows its strength at faster circuits, where riders can exploit the exceptional high-speed cornering performance.
Bagnaia qualified 19th, putting him on the seventh row of the grid, in the thick of a pack of slower riders in the Moto3 class.
He was soon picking up places, and was up in the points before one-third distance, and making his way forward in a pack chasing a ten-strong leading group.
Hopes of improvement were dashed in the closing laps, when a tussle with another rider caused both to lose touch with their group. Bagnaia won that fight, but it had ended any chance of further improvement.
Team-mate Jorge Martin finished 18th, five places higher than his qualifying position.
The next race is the Italian GP at Mugello, a longer and faster circuit where the Mahindra team can have higher hopes. Last year, Bagnaia finished fourth, in a pack of six across the line in less than four tenths of a second.
PECCO BAGNAIA - 12th Place
"This has been a difficult weekend. On Friday we were fast, but yesterday and today it was too difficult to find speed on the straight. The other Mahindras were better than mine. We were able to finish in the points. We have to work towards a points finish every time and keep the momentum going, but after the podium at Jerez this race was a little disappointing."
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
"That wasn't the result we were looking for. We came after a good race at Jerez, but here at Le Mans this weekend it wasn't to be. Now we need to put our heads down, and look forward to Mugello."
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.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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