Santiago del Estero Province, 03 April 2016: Aspar Mahindra rider Jorge Martin opened his World Championship account today in Argentina, with a brilliant ride through from 19th on the grid to a strong eighth place – making the most of his wet-weather skills and the sweet handling of his MGP3O racer on a treacherous drying circuit.

While team-mate Pecco Bagnaia – third in the opening round in Qatar – struggled with the conditions in round two at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, and finished out of the points, Martin made a blazing start from the seventh row, and by lap two of 21 of the 4.806-km circuit he crossed the line in sixth place.

The white-liveried Mahindra – all new this year from the only Indian constructor in the World Championship – was in the thick of a jostling pack chasing runaway winner Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda), Malaysia’s first GP winner.

Martin was challenging for the lead of a typically close seven-strong battle fighting for an eventual third. Riders were changing places throughout as they searched for grip on the fast and sinuous circuit. All were using no-tread slick tyres, and lingering damp patches, as well as brief swirls of rain made it a battle not only for split seconds, but also for survival.

In the later stages, Martin found himself battling with John McPhee, riding a Peugeot: sister machine to the Mahindra. Only at the closing stages did the Spaniard lose pace with a gear-shifting issue, and McPhee was able to escape to seventh place.

Next weekend, Mahindra will rejoin the Moto3 battle at Austin in Texas, before the opening of the European season in another fortnight.

“I am quite satisfied and was expecting a good race: the rain helped us a bit. I could make a very good start and was in fifth and able to fight in the group. Then I had a problem with the gearshift, and couldn’t keep the rhythm of the group. But eighth is okay.”

JORGE MARTIN - Eighth Place

“The race result was far more satisfying than the rest of the weekend. Argentina has traditionally been a difficult track for Mahindra. Conditions did help us, but at the same time they were very tricky, so it could have gone either way. We’re happy also to see our brand, Peugeot Motocycles, well up in the points. Both Martin on our Mahindra and Peugeot’s John McPhee rode brilliantly, from way back on the grid, taking some risks in the early stages and reaping the rewards at the end, with eighth and seventh places.”