Sepang, Malaysia 29 October 2017: Two weeks after Mahindra’s first podium of the year in Japan, Italian rider Manuel Pagliani fought hard to finish in the points in today’s Malaysian GP. His 15th-place finish means that the only Indian constructor in the World Championship series has scored points in each of the three successive “flyaway” races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
In fact, the Mahindra MGP3O has scored points in four of the last five races, with a best of third in Japan, and another top-ten in Australia, as Mahindra’s current adventure in the Moto3 class draws to a close after seven years.
Today’s result comes at the track where Mahindra secured the second of three race wins in 2016 – the 5.543-km Sepang circuit close to the capital Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.
The first race of the day was run in blazing hot sunshine in front of a crowd of more than 90,000 fans, and hosted the usual Moto3 spectacle of ultra-close racing.
Mahindra CIP team rider Pagliani had qualified 20th, but came through to 15th, and held the lead of one such group for most of the race. When overtaken by more experienced riders, the 21-year-old fought back brilliantly, and had escaped ahead of his rivals at the end of the 18-lap race.
Team-mate Marco Bezzecchi was not far behind, placed 19th. The next MGP3O rider was Jakub Kornfeil, placed 21st on the rebadged Peugeot machine for the MC Saxoprint squad. Lorenzo Dalla Porta, riding for the official Aspar Mahindra team, crashed out after another rider collided with him; while temporary team-mate Maria Herrera, the Spanish racer substituting for injured Albert Arenas, was 24th, less than two tenths behind second Peugeot rider Patrik Pulkkinen.
The race was won by newly crowned World Champion Joan Mir (Honda).
The GP circus now returns to Europe and a welcome one-weekend breather before the final race of the 2017 season at Valencia.
Manuel Pagliani, CIP Mahindra
“A tough race. The heat and temperature here in Sepang is brutal. We had to work really hard for 15th, it’s a good reward for the team after an up and down weekend. A poor Qualifying meant we had to recover a lot and we were able to do this. It was quite a lonely race as the riders ahead made a gap quite quickly and I could just not close it down. Now we focus on Valencia, one last push!”
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“We kept our points record alive, but we’re still a little disappointed. We expected another top ten, because this has been a good track for us, after winning the race last year – and especially more so because the previous two flyaways were very encouraging. Now we look forward to going to Valencia. It will be a very emotional race for us – the last race before we mark ourselves absent from next year.”
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
• Motorsport Award | Bike India Magazine, 2013
• Motorsport Award of the Year | ZigWheels Awards, 2012Racing Bike of the Year | Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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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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