Valencia, Spain, 12 November 2017: Four Mahindra MGP3O machines crossed the line for the last time in today's Valencia Moto3 GP close together, and within just 1.8 seconds – bowing out with a final close fight among colleagues and team-mates.
The final round of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship also marked Mahindra Racing's withdrawal from the series. Mahindra is India's only motorcycle manufacturer competing in a world championship, having entered MotoGP in 2011 to further develop its expertise in two-wheels and increase global brand recognition. The USD 19 billion multinational company, based in Mumbai, soon found success. Within its first year of competition, Mahindra Racing achieved its first pole position, coming at the final round in Valencia as the 125cc two-stroke class came to a close.
The dawn of the four-stroke Moto3 era saw Mahindra Racing as one of only three manufacturers to develop and supply their own chassis and engine in the form of the Mahindra MGP3O. Success came quickly with Miguel Oliveira taking Mahindra Racing's first pole of the four-stroke Moto3 category at the TT Circuit Assen in 2013, followed by a debut podium at the Malaysian GP the same year.
In 2014 Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder claimed three podiums between them. But Mahindra Racing's best season came in 2016. Italian Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia achieved the Mahindra MGP3O's debut victory in a thrilling race at the legendary TT Circuit Assen for the Mahindra Aspar Team, making Mahindra Racing the first and only Indian manufacturer to win a Grand Prix race. Two more wins would follow, one for John McPhee on the Peugeot in the Czech Republic and a second for Bagnaia in Malaysia - helping the Italian to achieve fourth overall, Mahindra Racing's highest placing in the Riders’ Championship.
Despite a difficult start to the 2017 campaign, the MGP3O achieved a final podium at the Twin Ring Motegi thanks to Marco Bezzecchi on the CIP Mahindra, a debut podium for the Italian and the CIP team.
Having challenged and beaten the established racing order, Mahindra Racing leaves the Moto3 World Championship with its name in the history books. In just 123 Grand Prix starts, Mahindra Racing achieved three race wins, 14 podium finishes, three pole positions, over 700 Manufacturer points and the still-standing Circuit Record around the Sachsenring.
Mahindra Racing will now focus on its team in the Formula E electric car racing series, in which it recorded a first victory this season. The shift is in line with the Mahindra Group's ambition to emerge as a global leader in electric mobility solutions. The company is already a leader in electric mobility in India, and is the only Indian company that offers EVs for sale. Earlier in the year Mahindra announced its 'EV 2.0' strategy to develop a comprehensive technology and product roadmap, leading to the development of next generation EVs for consumers around the world.
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
"Obviously, this was quite an emotional day – our last time, at least for the moment, after seven years and some very proud moments. We weren't able to add to our points score today, but at the same time our riders showed the strength of our package, keeping up in a close fight. As always, better qualifying positions would have meant better finishes.
"Mahindra has had some real highs over the last seven seasons, most especially our three wins last year. We can be proud also of our riders, past and present. Mahindra Racing gave chances to young riders who have gone on to great things – like our first podium man Miguel Oliveira, now a strong race winner in Moto2; and last year's double Mahindra winner Pecco Bagnaia, this year's top rookie in Moto2. And of course Jorge Martin, who won today's Moto3 race.
"This year we have also brought in young guns – like Marco Bezzecchi, who got his first podium on a Mahindra at Motegi. He and our other youngsters will have a big future, and we can be proud of our part in it. Grand Prix racing has been a pleasure and a privilege for all of us."
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is the only Indian constructor in the Moto3TM class of the FIM MotoGPTM World Championship Series. Competing with the best-of-the-best in the world for six years running, it has seen phenomenal success since its debut in 2011.
Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O - a single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and other customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2017 Mahindra Racing rider line-up includes:
- Albert Arenas (SPA) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA) [Aspar Mahindra Moto3]
- Jakub Kornfeil (CZE) and Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN) [Peugeot MC Saxoprint]
- Manuel Pagliani (ITA) and Marco Bezzecchi (ITA) [CIP]
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor. In the same season, the MGP3O recorded top-five finishes in 10 of the 17 rounds, a pole position, three circuit lap records, and a third position in the Constructors' Championship.
The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian constructor, including second place at the German Grand Prix.
In 2015, Mahindra Racing put up a fierce fight at the front of the pack throughout the season, and recorded a podium finish at the French Grand Prix.
2016 got off to a strong start with Aspar Mahindra Moto3 Team rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The Italian teen picked up podiums in Jerez (Spain) and Mugello (Italy) before making his historic first win in Assen (Netherlands) - Mahindra's maiden victory in the World Championship. It proved the high-level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. Two more victories followed with John Mcphee dominating the field in a wet Czech Grand Prix and Pecco taking a wonderful seven-second win in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Besides its commitment to the World Championship, Mahindra Racing supplies MGP3O machines to Team Aspar and Team LaGlisse in the World Championship feeder series - the FIM CEV Repsol International Championship (Moto3 Junior World Championship). Grand Prix legend Max Biaggi will spearhead Mahindra's effort in the 2017 Elf CIV - Italian National 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:
- Mobil1 Motorsport Award | NDTV Car and Bike Awards, 2017, 2013, 2012
- Motosport Award | Autocar India, 2017
- Bikesport Award of the Year | Times Auto Awards, 2017
- Racing Bike of the Year | Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016
- Motorsport Award | Bike India Magazine, 2013
- Motorsport Award of the Year | ZigWheels Awards, 2012
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
The Mahindra Group focuses on enabling people to rise through solutions that power mobility, drive rural prosperity, enhance urban lifestyles and increase business efficiency.
A USD 19 billion multinational group based in Mumbai, India, Mahindra provides employment opportunities to over 200,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates in the key industries that drive economic growth, enjoying a leadership position in tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership. In addition, Mahindra enjoys a strong presence in the agribusiness, aerospace, components, consulting services, defence, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, retail, steel, commercial vehicles and two wheeler industries.
In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world's largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times 'Boldness in Business' Award in the 'Emerging Markets' category in 2013.
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For further enquiries
Mr. Darius Lam
Phone: +91 22 2491 6818
Mr. Harry Lloyd
Mahindra Racing Moto3™ press officer
Phone: +44 1628 450 731
Mobile: +44 7450 624 931