Silverstone, 03 September 2016: Team Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia claimed pole position at Silverstone today, conquering sodden conditions to follow up the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing’s historic one-two at the last round at Brno.

The Italian teenager’s career first pole underlines the growing strength of the MGP3O Moto3 machine, and has given the Aspar Team hopes of building further success, after strong performances in dry free practice, with the same rider heading the lists in the opening session on Friday.

Team-mate Jorge Martin, who was second at Brno, will start tomorrow’s race at the long, fast and technical airfield circuit from the third row of the grid. Martin placed a strong fifth in the dry free practice sessions. John McPhee, winner of the Czech Republic race, qualified 17th on the Peugeot-branded MGP3O, entered by Mahindra’s sister company, but was a close sixth in dry free practice.

The British Grand Prix is the 12th of 18 rounds in 2016, the Indian constructor’s best season so far. Bagnaia claimed his first win at Assen, with three further podium finishes, putting him in the thick of a close battle for third overall.

The MGP3O’s first win, and the first pole since 2013, follow a season of constant development to a machine that was all-new for the start of the year.

The first goal for race engineers at Mahindra Racing’s state-of-the-art development facility at Besozzo in Italy was to maximise performance of the redesigned engine.

The second significant step was an all-new gearbox, introduced at the German GP before the summer break, solving a gear-shifting issue that had troubled some of the ten Mahindra riders on the Moto3 grid.

The weather generally plays a crucial part in the British GP, and tomorrow promises to be no exception. Wet or dry, however, the Aspar Mahindra Team will relish the challenge.

“I am so happy with this result, especially after a technical issue this morning. It’s great to get my first pole position, and in the wet where we have had some troubles before. In the last race in Brno I was losing a lot of seconds a lap and it wasn’t easy. We changed something just after practice and it was the key to big step that we have done here. We are happy because we are fast also in the dry conditions and if tomorrow is wet for sure we can fight to stay at the front. Also in the dry I can do something in the race. I am confident in my speed and I can go fast even alone.”

Pecco Bagnaia - Pole Position

“Pole position was the only achievement we were missing this year, in our best-ever season. Now we have that as well. Of course we are happy to have ticked that box, but the race is tomorrow, and we hope we can prove our growing strength again when the chequered flag falls.”

Mufaddal Choonia - CEO Mahindra Racing