Spielberg, Austria 13 August 2017: Aspar Mahindra team rider Albert Arenas and CIP team rider Marco Bezzecchi paid the price of ultra-close combat in a huge multi-bike battle for championship points in today’s Austrian GP, crashing out together on the last of 23 laps of the scenic 4.318-km Red Bull Ring circuit.
The pair had been in close company in an enormous pack going for the final points, along with second CIP rider Manuel Pagliani, who had cut through from near the back of the grid to have several spells at the front of the second group.
Pagliani survived the last-lap carnage to finish 19th, barely four tenths from the front of the group going for 15th place. Neither of his fallen comrades were injured.
It was a brutally tough race round the ultra-fast and rather simple circuit in the wooded Alpine foothills, with big groups of riders fighting for every inch. Riders of the Mahindra MGP3O, the only Indian motorcycle in the World Championship, were hampered by qualifying positions, on a closely matched grid where mere tenths and hundredths of a second could make all the difference and over 20 riders were within one second in Qualifying.
The top qualifier, Mahindra Aspar rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta, was eliminated in the early stages, falling unhurt after another rider collided with him, but unable to restart.
This left the remainder striving to improve on their grid positions, with Arenas 20th, Bezzecchi 25th and Pagliani 30th. Spaniard Arenas was in his second come-back ride after injury, after returning to a points-scoring position one week ago at Brno.
By the finish they were to and fro in their group, with their eyes on the prize of the final points … but in the jostling pack their luck went the other way for Arenas and Bezzecchi while Pagliani missed the points, but had the satisfaction of gaining 11 places from his starting position.
The race was won by runaway title leader Joan Mir (Honda). The next round is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in a fortnight.
Manuel Pagliani, CIP Mahindra
“I gave my best for the entire race, from the first lap right until I crossed the line at the end. I was 100% on the limit but able to overtake many riders throughout the race. It was a tough race but a great battle in a big group. I was able to lead the group at many points and I did my best laps then. I’m happy to be the first Mahindra, it’s maybe my best race of the year. Now we focus on closing the gap to the front.”
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“This was always going to be a difficult race, at a track where our bike’s strong point of sweet handling and fast cornering was less important than simple acceleration. It is not a subtle circuit. Once again, the penalty of poor qualifying was clear, but it was good to see our own riders and the independent Mahindra teamsters fighting hard anyway. We’re now looking forward to some tracks where our strengths will bring us back to fight for more championship points.”
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is the only Indian constructor in the Moto3™ class of the FIM MotoGP™ 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