MAHINDRA TAKES A STEP TO RACK UP FIRST POINTS
Jerez de la Frontera, 07 May 2017: Mahindra Racing's hopes of regaining momentum in the return to Europe came to fruition in Jerez today, with official team rider Albert Arenas picking up his and the team's first points of the year with a hard-fought 14th place.
The 20-year-old Spaniard, who had qualified an equal career-best 13th, battled hard with more experienced riders for the lead of a pursuit group locked in a bitter fight for 12th place. Arenas had placed third in morning warm-up and was confident for the race. Trapped by his starting position in the chase pack, he was less than a second off the lead, after 23 laps of hard racing around the iconic 4.423-km circuit in the south of Spain.
Team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta was exchanging places with his team-mate for the first half of the race, but lost speed as the tyres wore down during the 101.8-km race. He finished 19th, losing 18th place to Jakub Kornfeil on the Peugeot-badged Mahindra in the closing stages.
Mahindra, the only Indian constructor in the world championship, had a disappointing time in the first three races, after recording its best-ever season in 2016, with three race wins. The three flyaway races brought scant rewards to the new and less experienced rider line-up, after a major upgrade to the MGP3O Moto3 machine.
The Italy-based race department and the Spanish official Aspar team remained confident, however, that a return to more familiar tracks in Europe would help the riders to achieve the full potential of the single-cylinder 250cc racing machine.
Today's race brought a first win to Spanish Honda rider Aron Canet.
Jerez marked the start of the high-intensity European season. The next race is the French GP at Le Mans in a fortnight.