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.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – Mahindra Racing CEO
"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."
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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