Barcelona, Spain 11 June 2017: Italian teenage grand prix rookie Marco Bezzecchi added to his growing reputation and to Mahindra's growing points score with a brilliant last lap at today's Catalan GP, gaining three places in one corner for his second points of the season.
The 18-year-old CIP team rider had qualified 24th, but rapidly moved forward to prepare for his last-lap attack. The high point was a fine out-braking move at the end of the back straight. He scythed inside two race-long rivals while a third ran wide and crashed out trying to defend.
Finishing 14th not only won two points, but also meant he was top rookie in the 22-lap race, the seventh of 18 rounds.
It was an affirmation of improving form for the only Indian constructor in the World Championship. Although one of the two official Aspar Mahindra team riders was out injured, and the second dropped out of the battling group, Bezzecchi exceeded his qualifying form to demonstrate the steady growth of the 2017 iteration of the MGP3O machine.
The missing rider was Albert Arenas, who suffered shoulder injuries fighting for the points in last week's Italian GP and underwent surgery just ahead of his home race. Team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta (19) qualified 12th, but was unable to sustain the position today.
It was left to Bezzecchi to uphold the MGP3O's honour, in his first GP at the 4.655-km circuit outside the Catalan capital of Barcelona.
A typically fierce and close Moto3 race was won by Joan Mir, the Honda-mounted championship leader's fourth win in seven races.
After two weekends in succession, the grand prix circus now has one weekend off before round eight, the Dutch TT at Assen is followed by another back-to-back race in Germany. Albert Arenas, another to score points this year, hopes to be fit enough to start in both races.
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Mahindra
"This weekend in Montmelo we did very well in Free Practice, we worked closely with the team and the engineers for the race. The bike was very good and the setting was strong over race distance. In Qualifying I didn't put together a perfect lap so I started quite far back. I had a good start and pushed right away, overtaking a lot of riders in the first lap. When I caught the group, I tried to go to the front because my rhythm was very strong and then we had a big fight with Jules Danilo. Maybe if we didn't overtake so much and he stayed behind we could catch the group ahead. Two points are a good step and we’ll keep improving every race, being top rookie is always the goal!"
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
"Points are always welcome, but frankly we are disappointed. We expected a much better race from Dalla Porta, considering that his starting position clearly put him in line for a top ten finish. It's welcome to see Marco emerging as a talent that we need to groom and nurture. Not only today, he has shown the ability to come back fighting and post good results. Now we need to work with him to improve his qualifying positions."
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. Competing with the-best-of-the-best in the world for six years running, it has seen phenomenal success since its debut in 2011.
Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O – a single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and other customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2017 Mahindra Racing rider line-up includes:
- Albert Arenas (SPA) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) [Aspar Mahindra Moto3]
- Jakub Kornfeil (CZE) and Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN) [Peugeot MC Saxoprint]
- Manuel Pagliani (ITA) and Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) [CIP]
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor in the MotoGP World Championship. In the same season, the MGP3O recorded top-five finishes, a pole position, three circuit lap records, and a third position in the Constructors’ Championship.
The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian constructor, including second place at the German Grand Prix.
In 2015, Mahindra Racing put up a fierce fight at the front of the pack throughout the season, and recorded a podium finish at the French Grand Prix.
2016 got off to a strong start with Aspar Mahindra Moto3 Team rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third-place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The Italian teen picked up podiums in Jerez (Spain) and Mugello (Italy) before making his historic first win in Assen (Netherlands) – Mahindra's maiden victory in the World Championship. It proved the high-level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. Two more victories followed with John Mcphee dominating the field in a wet Czech Grand Prix and Pecco taking a wonderful seven-second win in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Besides its commitment to the World Championship, Mahindra Racing supplies MGP3O machines to Team Aspar and Team LaGlisse in the World Championship feeder series – the FIM CEV Repsol International Championship (Moto3 JWC). Grand Prix legend Max Biaggi will spearhead Mahindra's effort in the 2017 Elf CIV – Italian National 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:
- Mobil1 Motorsport Award | NDTV Car and Bike Awards, 2017, 2013, 2012
- Motosport Award | Autocar India, 2017
- Bikesport Award of the Year | Times Auto Awards, 2017
- Racing Bike of the Year | Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016
- Motorsport Award | Bike India Magazine, 2013
- Motorsport Award of the Year | ZigWheels Awards, 2012
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
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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For further enquiries
Mr. Darius Lam
Phone: +91 22 2491 6818
Mr. Harry Lloyd
Mahindra Racing Moto3TM press officer
Phone: +44 1628 450 731
Mobile: +44 7450 624 931