Sachsenring, 17 July 2016:
Italian teenager Pecco Bagnaia (Team Aspar Mahindra) claimed a steadfast tenth place in today's German GP, run in streaming wet conditions after the weather turned on race morning for the race that marks the halfway point of the season.
Team-mate Jorge Martin faced disappointment as a near collision meant that he slipped off in the treacherous conditions, after earlier running with the front group, finishing lap one in fifth place after starting from tenth on the grid.
But there was further consolation for the only Indian constructor in the World Championship series, as Peugeot rider John McPhee fought for a top-three rostrum finish, eventually finishing sixth in the thick of a battling group. The Peugeot team is a partner to Mahindra, and the machine is derived from the Mahindra MGP3O.
Like all eight Mahindra riders and his Peugeot team-mate, McPhee had the benefit of an all-new gearbox, an important step in boosting the competitive strength of the MGP3O.
The swirling rain and standing water made for unexpected results, with rookie Khairul Idham Pawi (Honda) repeating his wet-weather win in the Argentine GP.
Bagnaia, fresh from a brilliant first win for himself and Mahindra at Assen, had qualified 11th after an earlier front-row challenge was foiled in thick traffic on the shortest and tightest track on the calendar.
When race day dawned cold and very wet, his target was to claim a safe finish, and to continue to build on his position in the championship charts, where he lies fourth overall. Riding carefully, he saved tenth place while his closest title rivals failed to score points. Bagnaia is now within just eight points of compatriot Romano Fenati, who is third overall.
The World Championship series pauses now for the three-weekend summer break. Racing begins in earnest at the Austrian GP on August 14, the first of an intensive nine-race run to the finale at Valencia in November.
PECCO BAGNAIA - Tenth Place
"I'm happy to finish a race in Germany again! I'm pleased with the result. It was so difficult out there: 27 laps in the rain is not too easy, it was difficult to keep your concentration and try to finish the race. It was also hard to close the gap on the bike in front of me, I tried to overtake him on the last lap but couldn't quite manage it.
Finishing in the top ten in these conditions is very important, with six points toward the championship. I'm now eight points off Fenati and closing the gap. In the next race we need to continue with this good work and try and overtake him in the championship, and keep pushing for a good second half to the season."
JOHN MCPHEE (PEUGEOT) - Sixth Place
"I think that an even better result was possible today, but we need to take the positives out of the weekend. We’ve been really strong in all sessions and finished the weekend with a nice handful of points on the table. We're moving in the right direction, we've made a step with the bike and can now go into the summer break more confident, train hard and focus on coming back stronger in the second half of the season.
A lot of my racing when I first started was in the rain, but it isn't something I've had a lot of experience with in the last few years. Today was the first time riding the MGP3O in the wet, but we’ve been fast all weekend so I think we would have had the pace to compete no matter what the conditions."
MUFADDAL CHOONIA - CEO Mahindra Racing
"These were really treacherous conditions today, and it could have gone either way. Finishing was partly a matter of luck as we saw with Jorge Martin, who crashed because of another rider's mistake. So congratulations to Pecco for tenth place and moving forward in the championship. We were delighted to see John up with the leaders on the Peugeot, which is derived from the Mahindra MGP3O. Our plan has always been to see as many Mahindras up there as possible, and this weekend showed that with our continual development work the bike is improving, and working well for a broader spectrum of riders."
About Mahindra Racing
In 2016, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its fifth year in the Moto3TM class of MotoGPTM 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 three 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 - Jorge Martin (SPA), Francesco Bagnaia (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint - Albert Arenas (SPA), John Mcphee (GB); Platinum Bay Real Estate - Marcos Ramirez (SPA), Darryn Binder (RSA); CIP-Unicom Starker- Fabio Spiranelli (ITA), Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN); 3570 Team Italia - Stefano Valtulini (ITA), Lorenzo Petrarca (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 Moto3TM 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. 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 2016.
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.
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