Comunitat de Valenciana, 20 February 2017: The 2017 season has officially begun for Mahindra Racing, completing a successful two-day test at the Valencia Circuit. A number of upgrades have hit the MGP3O for 2017 with engine development remaining as a key area of focus for the Moto3 World Championship's only Indian manufacturer. The two-day test also saw a new rear shock from Ohlins implemented, developed specifically for the MGP3O.
Both Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Albert Arenas were back aboard the 2017 MGP3O after initial tests at the end of 2016 and were pleased with the development work done over the winter break. For Dalla Porta, who joins Mahindra Racing as the 2016 FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Champion, the test was especially useful as he continues to quickly adapt his riding style to the new machine. The team and riders were both pleased with the lap times, their attention focused on exploring setup options.
Also learning the MGP3O were Jakub Kornfeil and Peugeot teammate Patrik Pulkkinen, the latter set to make his World Championship debut in 2017. With seven years' experience in the lightweight class, Kornfeil was quickly up to speed and impressed with his lap times over the two days. The Czech rider ended the test pleased with the base setting of his MGP3O, both Kornfeil and the Peugeot team were thrilled with the 2017 upgrades to the MGP3O.
Despite a somewhat cold start to the second day of testing, the teams were able to complete their testing programmes and steadily improved their lap times. The immediately head to the next test in Jerez on February 22 to 23 with a direction to follow. Afterwards, Mahindra Racing will remain in Jerez for further testing ahead of the first official IRTA test on March 8 to 10.
The countdown continues to Qatar, the 2017 MotoGP World Championship beginning under the flood lights on March 26.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Aspar Mahindra Team
"It has all gone very well. We were productive on both days and were able to set some good times alone. I'm happy with the Mahindra chassis, which works great. We will keep working in Jerez, where hopefully we can make another step. We improved with each run on the bike, the feeling with the bike and the team is always better."
Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra Team
"I am happy to be back and starting to learn with the bike and team. This test we started with a new bike and tried to get a good setup with small but consistent steps. We worked looking towards the race and tried many different things. We have a defined path now."
About Mahindra Racing
In 2017, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its sixth year in the Moto3™ class of MotoGP™ and remains the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2016 Mahindra Racing line-up includes: Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 – Albert Arenas (SPA), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint – Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN); CIP-Unicom Starker- Manuel Pagliani (ITA), Marco Bezzecchi (ITA).
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor. The MGP3O recorded top-five finishes in 10 of the 17 rounds in 2013 as well as a pole position, three circuit lap records and third in the constructors' rankings. The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian motorcycle, including second place at the Sachsenring. In 2015, the Mahindra regularly fought at the front of the ultra-competitive Moto3™ class and recorded a podium finish at Le Mans.
2016 got off to a strong start for Mahindra Racing with Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The podiums continued in Jerez and Mugello before Pecco made history with victory in Assen, Mahindra's first in the World Championship. It was a historic day for everyone involved and proved the high level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. Two more victories followed with John McPhee dominating the field in a wet Czech GP before Bagnaia took a wonderful seven-second win in Sepang.
As well as its commitment in the World Championship, Mahindra continues to supply MGP3O machines to Team Aspar to compete in World Championship feeder series, the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2017. Grand Prix legend Max Biaggi will spear head Mahindra's effort in the CIV, the Italian Championship.
Mahindra's bold decision to take on the world's best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India, including: the NDTV Car and Bike Awards - 'Mobil 1 Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012 and 2013; the Bike India Magazine - 'Motorsport Award', 2013; and 'ZigWheels Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012. Mahindra also won 'Racing Bike of the Year' at the Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016.
For further information please visit: mahindraracing.com
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