Mugello, Italy 04 June 2017: Mahindra riders came within less than a second of adding to World Championship racing’s only Indian constructor’s points score in today’s Italian GP. But with a pack of 19 riders crossing the line within a record 2.3 seconds, they narrowly missed the top-15 scoring positions.

The first race of the day at the majestic 5.245-km Mugello circuit, overlooked by the Apennine mountain passes of the historic Mille Miglia, produced a breath-taking Moto3 battle. Riders were changing places from the first moment to the last of the 20-lap, 104.9 km contest.

It was desperately hard to gain places in a brawling pack, running into the track’s sweeping corners four or five abreast; but easy to lose them – a small slip could easily cost a rider ten or more positions. For example, the fastest qualifier – former Mahindra rider Jorge Martin – ran right up front for much of the race, but finished 15th.

The top Mahindra rider was Marco Bezzecchi, riding for the independent CIP team, who moved up four places to 17th on the last lap. The Italian rookie was just seven tenths of a second away from the points.

Aspar Mahindra team rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta was a mere 0.060 of a second behind, lying 19th. For most of the race he had been in the top 15. His team-mate Albert Arenas had been with him, sometimes ahead, but fell on the last lap, striving to secure points.

Jakub Kornfeil, riding a Mahindra MGP3O wearing the badge of sister company Peugeot, was a close 20th.

The race brought a first victory of the season for KTM, and rider Andrea Migno.

The next race is the Catalan GP, in one week.

“It was a very funny race, a really big group all fighting so much. I got a bad start but I was able to overtake a lot of riders in the first lap. At the end of that I was able to stay in more or less my position from the start. Afterwards I started to overtake more and more riders. On the last lap I gave it everything but some guys made some big moves, maybe a bit wild. Now we start to think of Barcelona and getting points again”

Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Mahindra

“So close, and yet so far. It was a classic Mugello race with a big pack of riders all together. Frankly, when it is like this, finishing positions are a bit of a lottery. We are happy with the pace our riders showed, with fast lap times and staying with the lead group. It is just unfortunate they were not in the top 15 past the chequered flag.”

Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing