Assen, The Netherlands 25 June 2017: Mahindra's top rookie Marco Bezzecchi missed the points by one position at the Dutch TT today, after a career-best fifth-fastest starting position was spoiled when he was delayed by other riders’ errors at the Indian constructor's special circuit.
The 20-year-old Italian finished 16th, with points paid for the first 15 across the line, after 22 laps of the classic 4,542-km circuit in the north of the Netherlands.
One year ago, Pecco Bagnaia claimed the first win for the only Indian constructor in the championship here, going on to win again at Sepang in Mahindra's best season so far.
With this year devoted to bringing on younger and less experienced riders, Bezzecchi's second-row qualifying position didn't raise false hopes of a repeat win. But second class rookie Manuel Pagliani – Bezzecchi's team-mate in the CIP Mahindra squad – had also qualified well on the third row, and a double points score seemed a reasonable target.
Race fortunes decided otherwise. Both the young Italians were running strongly in the top ten in the early stages of the 22-lap race when Bezzecchi had to slow to avoid a crash which took out two other riders. Soon afterwards, Pagliani became another of several crash victims at the notorious final chicane. Bezzecchi had to slow once again to avoid his team-mate, losing more positions and momentum.
At the finish, he had regained 16th place from Jakub Kornfeil, riding another MGP3O machine, badged as a Peugeot for Mahindra's sister company.
Mahindra Aspar team rider Alberto Arenas was missing a second race while recovering from injury. Spanish teenager Raul Fernandez joined the Mahindra Aspar team regular Lorenzo Dalla Porta again, but both crashed in the tricky conditions and failed to finish.
Sixteen-year-old rookie Patrik Pulkkinen finished 22nd on the second Peugeot MC Saxoprint machine.
After earlier rain, the eighth of 18 championship rounds was run in cool and damp conditions. The track remained dry on the racing line in spite of a brief shower at the start, but conditions were fraught for any rider pushed off line.
The race brought a second victory of the year for Spaniard Aron Canet (Honda).
The next race is the German GP at the Sachsenring next weekend.
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Team
"I had a good start and I was able to stay with the front group at the beginning. But after two laps Di Giannantonio crashed and I lost the front group. After that some riders passed me and my teammate Pagliani crashed in front of me and I lost the group again. I stayed in the third group with Kornfeil and some other riders. In the last lap I was able to pass them but it's a big shame because I was high on the grid and couldn't take advantage of it. We struggled with the dry conditions a bit due to the limited track time. We will try and do better in Germany next week."
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
"We were hoping for a better result here: I was quite optimistic when Marco qualified fifth ... so this was not the race we were expecting after we won here last year. It should have been different, but sometimes racing is like that."
About Mahindra Racing
Mahindra Racing is the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. 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 MotoGP World Championship. In the same season, the MGP3O recorded top-five finishes, 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 JWC). 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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Mr. Darius Lam
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Mr. Harry Lloyd
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