MARTIN TAKES TOP SIX IN THRILLING ARAGON GP
MotorLand Aragon, 25 September 2016: Aspar Mahindra Team rider Jorge Martin took a brutally hard-fought sixth place in today’s Aragon GP, overcoming pain and weakness from right foot injuries that ruled him out of the last race just two weeks ago.
The Spanish teenager battled through from tenth on the grid to play a significant part in an 11-strong leading pack, using the sweet handling of his Mahindra MGP3O to best effect as riders traded blows at every corner.
At one stage Martin was up to fourth in the brawl. In the final stages four leaders broke clear, but Martin finished just 0.179 of a second adrift of fifth-placed Joan Mir, who was leading the pursuit.
Scotsman John McPhee, riding an MGP3O for Mahindra’s sister brand Peugeot Motocycles, also added to his points score, taking 13th at the head of a group that had been scrapping all race long.
Unfortunately for the second Aspar Mahindra Team rider, Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia, McPhee’s success was at his expense. Bagnaia finished less than two tenths behind McPhee, but in 16th place, out of the points.
Bagnaia claimed a historic first win for the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing at Assen in June; while after the summer break McPhee won the Czech Republic GP at Brno, with Martin a career-best second.
Today’s race was won by Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Honda); but the championship went to second-placed South African Brad Binder (KTM), who is now unbeatable in the standings.
The GP circus has a two-weekend break now before starting the trio of back-to-back “flyaway” races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, before returning to Europe for the season finale in Valencia.