Jerez de la Frontera, 10 March 2017: The Jerez circuit was host to the first official test of the 2017 season, providing riders and teams with three fruitful days of track time. While this was not Mahindra Racing’s first run on track in 2017, it was the first chance the entirety of the Moto3 World Championship class had to compare themselves to the competition.

Work started on Wednesday March 8 and concluded on Friday March 10, giving the Moto3 riders over three hours of track time each day. Steady progress was made through the various testing plans with little disruption, the weather remaining dry and clear near the coast of Cadiz.

Reigning FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Champion, Lorenzo Dalla Porta set a 1’46.990 on Day 2 to end the test in 15th on the combined times. He and teammate Albert Arenas benefited from the sage advice of Nico Terol, the 2011 125cc World Champion, a lightweight class expert. Both Aspar riders spent the majority of the test working on chassis set-up, looking to fully understand the 2017 machine before racing begins once again in late March. Arenas attempted several fast laps on the final day while Dalla Porta elected to continue focusing his attentions on more long term goals.

Jakub Kornfeil showed his considerable experience in the Moto3 World Championship once again. The Czech rider was fast from his first encounter with the Peugeot, improving each and every session. A 1’46.473 on the third day saw him head home as the fourth fastest rider and the highest placed MGP3O machine. This impressive time had Kornfeil within a quarter of a second of the top spot and ahead of title favourites Fenati, Antonelli and Bastianini. His teammate, rookie Finn Patrik Pulkkinen, progressed well throughout the test and cut over a second off his time as he looks to get to grips with the World Championship.

The CIP pairing of Marco Bezzecchi and Manuel Pagliani ended the three-day test with clear areas to focus on, both having furthered their understanding of the 2017 MGP3O. For Bezzecchi the Jerez test also offered a chance to confirm his physical condition after an off-season collarbone injury, eventually finishing as the 24th fastest rider and over half a second faster than his teammate.

All involved in the test were pleased with the MGP3O’s development over the course of the winter, building on its best ever season in 2016. Teams and riders will now have just under a week to rest and prepare before they hit the track once again for the final test in Qatar from March 17 to 19. The Losail International Circuit is then set to host the opening round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship with practice beginning on March 23 before the race on Sunday, March 26.

Mufaddal Choonia, Mahindra Racing CEO

“Our time in Jerez has been very productive. All our riders and technicians have been able to get through a significant amount of work and we’re pleased with their findings. Jerez is an important circuit as it’s a good gauge of a bike and rider’s ability. Furthermore, finding a good base setting here pays dividends during the season as it offers a great starting point for the bike at other circuits. For Mahindra Racing as a manufacturer, it was an important test to finalise the plan for the coming season and cement the work we did during the winter break back at the factory. There is still work to be done before Qatar, but we start this season at the highest level since joining the championship in 2011.”

Jakub Kornfeil, Peugeot MC Saxoprint

“I’m pleased with the job we did. We understand our bike much better and made a crucial step forward with the set-up of our machine. The first two days might not have gone as we expected, but the final position is what counts. We have a good settings and with new tyres we produced a lovely time of 1:46.473.

“On the other hand, low 47s are a solid time for race pace. We are the fastest Mahindra, finishing fourth, gained more knowledge and a solid standard set-up so I’m satisfied. My big thanks definitely go to my Peugeot team and the Mahindra Racing technicians for the hard work during the test.”