MORE POINTS FOR MAHINDRA IN BEST RACE OF THE YEAR
Le Mans, France 21 May 2017: In spite of a costly crash to the leading Mahindra rider, the only Indian constructor in the world championship series had three machines in the points in today’s French GP, scoring its best result of the year so far.
Mahindra Aspar team rider Albert Arenas had qualified a career-best fifth and was running a strong fourth when the first attempt at the opening race of the day came to an abrupt end on only the second lap of the 4.185km Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans.
The entire leading group and more than 18 other riders crashed early on the second of 24 scheduled laps on oil spilled by a rider involved in an earlier crash.
With oil on several corners, a massive clean-up operation coincided with frantic repair work in the pits, before the field lined up again for a restart 40 minutes later, for a 16-lap race.
Arenas again started strongly, and was in the lead group when he slipped off and out of the race on the fourth lap. He was one of eight riders who crashed in the second race, robbing Mahindra of a first potential top-ten result as the season gains momentum.
But it was still the best race of the year, three of Mahindra’s MGP3O machines finishing in the points, compensating somewhat for the disappointment.
The best of them was experienced Czech rider JakubKornfeil (24), riding a Peugeot MC Saxoprint team MGP3O wearing a Peugeot badge, for Mahindra’s sister company. He finished 11th, for his first points of the season.
Second Aspar Mahindra rider Lorenzo DallaPorta (19) was 14th, one place ahead of CIP team rookie Marco Bezzecchi (18), both from Italy. It was the first time in the points in 2017 for the pair.
The results show that the Italy-based Mahindra race outfit is picking up the pace after a difficult start to the season. With points in the first two European rounds and a strong, if thwarted, performance by Arenas, who scored his first points at the last round at Jerez, the dedicated hard work is paying off.
Today’s race brought a third victory in five races for Spanish Honda rider Joan Mir.
The next race is the Italian GP at Mugello in a fortnight.