Circuit de Catalunya, Montmelo, Spain – 10 June 2016: Experienced Moto3 rider John McPhee joins the up-and-coming youngsters of racing in Catalunya this weekend, taking the chance to test an important upgrade that will help Mahindra grand prix riders take one more step to realise the full potential of this year’s all-new MGP3O racer.

Scotsman McPhee (21), who races for Mahindra partners Peugeot Motocycles in the Moto3TM World Championship, is taking part in the CEV Junior World Championship event at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, where he finished in the points at last weekend’s Catalunya Grand Prix.

His Peugeot-branded MGP3O has one important technical difference: an all-new gearbox designed to offer the eight Mahindra and two Peugeot World Championship riders a smoother, faster gear change making the sweet-handling bike even more rideable.

Italian teenager Pecco Bagnaia, lead rider in the official Aspar Mahindra team, has scored three rostrum finishes so far, and lies a close fifth overall. With one third of the season done, he had already equalled the best results in any season for the only Indian constructor in the World Championship, thanks to the strong performance of the MGP3O package.

At the same time, some Mahindra riders have complained of intermittent gear-shifting issues that have cost vital tenths of a second in the most competitive class in motorcycle road-racing.

Mahindra Racing’s state-of-the-art development facility at Besozzo, near Italy’s motorcycle heartland of Varese, had already introduced a new shifting mechanism at last weekend’s Catalunya race, used by all but three MGP3O riders. Bagnaia was again well-placed in the leading pack when he was knocked off by another rider’s error.

McPhee’s machine takes the development one stage further, with an all-new gearbox. Using it in the heat of competition is an important step of an intensive development programme by Mahindra Racing’s specialist engineers.

All being well, and after further scheduled tests, the gearbox will be available to all Mahindra riders at the Austrian Grand Prix after the summer break. As a permitted technical upgrade, this will enable all to move a step closer to realising the full potential of what has already shown itself to be a very competitive motorcycle.

“We’ve had a successful season so far, but we never stop trying to improve, and thanks to the hard work of our engineers in our exclusive race engineering facility in Italy we can now test an all-new transmission that we’ll be able to offer our teams and riders. Our bike has already shown some very strong points, particularly in the hands of Pecco, but we shall continue to improve the overall package, and help all of our riders and teams. The gearbox has been fully tested at our development facility, but there is nothing like a race weekend for a real test. We were very pleased that John McPhee was able to come here this weekend. He is clearly a talented rider and we hope that his experience with the new gearbox will prove a motivation as we head to Assen in two weeks. The gearbox is still in the early stages of testing on track, but so far it is looking good.”

JOHN MCPHEE – Peugeot MC Saxoprint team rider
“We’ve had a very positive experience with the new gearbox so far. We have been suffering a few issues this year, but I’ve done some longer runs here and a lot of kilometres. So far it has worked perfectly and gives a faster and smoother change both up and down the gears. It’s nice to come back to the Junior World Championship as I raced in this series before I switched to the World Championship, but our main objective is to have a successful weekend with the new gearbox. We’ve had a difficult start to this season and so I hope I can carry some positive momentum from this weekend into the next races.”