Silverstone, 03 September 2016:
Team Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia claimed pole position at Silverstone today, conquering sodden conditions to follow up the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing's historic one-two at the last round at Brno.
The Italian teenager's career first pole underlines the growing strength of the MGP3O Moto3 machine, and has given the Aspar Team hopes of building further success, after strong performances in dry free practice, with the same rider heading the lists in the opening session on Friday.
Team-mate Jorge Martin, who was second at Brno, will start tomorrow's race at the long, fast and technical airfield circuit from the third row of the grid. Martin placed a strong fifth in the dry free practice sessions. John McPhee, winner of the Czech Republic race, qualified 17th on the Peugeot-branded MGP3O, entered by Mahindra's sister company, but was a close sixth in dry free practice.
The British Grand Prix is the 12th of 18 rounds in 2016, the Indian constructor's best season so far. Bagnaia claimed his first win at Assen, with three further podium finishes, putting him in the thick of a close battle for third overall.
The MGP3O's first win, and the first pole since 2013, follow a season of constant development to a machine that was all-new for the start of the year.
The first goal for race engineers at Mahindra Racing’s state-of-the-art development facility at Besozzo in Italy was to maximise performance of the redesigned engine.
The second significant step was an all-new gearbox, introduced at the German GP before the summer break, solving a gear-shifting issue that had troubled some of the ten Mahindra riders on the Moto3 grid.
The weather generally plays a crucial part in the British GP, and tomorrow promises to be no exception. Wet or dry, however, the Aspar Mahindra Team will relish the challenge.
Pecco Bagnaia - Pole Position
"I am so happy with this result, especially after a technical issue this morning. It's great to get my first pole position, and in the wet where we have had some troubles before. In the last race in Brno I was losing a lot of seconds a lap and it wasn't easy. We changed something just after practice and it was the key to big step that we have done here. We are happy because we are fast also in the dry conditions and if tomorrow is wet for sure we can fight to stay at the front. Also in the dry I can do something in the race. I am confident in my speed and I can go fast even alone."
Mufaddal Choonia - CEO Mahindra Racing
"Pole position was the only achievement we were missing this year, in our best-ever season. Now we have that as well. Of course we are happy to have ticked that box, but the race is tomorrow, and we hope we can prove our growing strength again when the chequered flag falls."
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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