PAGLIANI GRABS FLYAWAY FULL HOUSE FOR MAHINDRA IN MALAYSIA
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.