Misano Adriatico, Italy 10 September 2017: A sodden and treacherous Misano World Circuit brought the best result of the season for the only Indian constructor in the World Championship, with two riders in the top ten and two more in the points-scoring positions – steadfast survivors in a race of attrition, with no less than 23 crashes.

In fact, the top MGP3O finisher, Saxoprint team rider Jakub Kornfeil, on a Peugeot-badged MGP3O, did slip off on the fifth of 23 laps at the 4.226 km circuit. But the experienced 24-year old Czech racer was able to scramble back on board. He lost 15 places, and then had to forfeit one more, penalised for an illegal overtake. But with a determined recovery ride he forged his way through to a season-best seventh.

One of his last victims was Aspar Mahindra rider Albert Arenas, who finished a close eighth, one of very few riders to experience an incident-free race, and taking full profit after starting from 26th on the grid. It was also the 20-year old Spaniard’s best finish of the year.

The next Mahindra rider in the points was Manuel Pagliani (CIP Mahindra), who missed the top ten by one place, one race after opening his points account two weeks ago, when he finished 15th at Silverstone.

Second Aspar Mahindra rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta also fell and remounted, finishing one lap down but taking a point for 15th.

Hopes were dashed for Marco Bezzecchi. The CIP Mahindra rider was running well up in the points when he slipped off. He remounted, and had moved back into the points when he fell again.

There was heartbreak also for Saxoprint class rookie Patrik Pulkkinen. The 16-year old Finn was set for his first points as he started the last lap in 13th … but he too fell. Unable to restart, he pushed the bike over the line, but was disqualified for being out of time.

The race was won by a huge margin by Romano Fenati (Honda), his second of the season; with championship leader Joan Mir (Honda) a distant and lonely second.

The next race is at Aragon in Spain in two weeks, before the GP circus packs up for the flyaway round in three gruelling consecutive weekends, in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.

“A really crazy and difficult race. I felt really strong at the start and I made good progress. I could see that the group ahead of me was getting away so I was on the limit at every corner to try and catch them. I did not want to settle just for a top ten. Unfortunately, this resulted in a crash, but I knew I could get back into the points even with the crash. Again, I made good time and my team did a good job of communicating the penalty to me, I could wave the other rider past on the straight and then start racing as normal straight away. I am so happy with this result and so happy for the team.”

Jakub Kornfeil, Peugeot MC Saxoprint

“I felt really good even though the race was really long and really difficult, very slippery. I just stayed at my own pace and I remained focused to not make any mistakes. I have to say thanks to the team because after the crash in Warm Up they rebuilt the bike. No laps in the Warm Up but I could see the left corners were really slippery so I was able to be careful in the race. It’s a great result, first top ten for me and first top ten for Mahindra this year. The best result so far. Now it’s time for Aragon and I’m feeling good, let’s fight for some big points in Aragon!”.

Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra

“Full marks to our Mahindra riders for our best results of the season. Never mind how it happened – we’ll take the points with gratitude. At the same time, this was high-quality riding and top-grade determination, in a race where more than half the field didn’t make it to the chequered flag. We never give up, and that paid out today. Now we look forward to a chance to show the overall strength of our package in dry weather, because we’ve certainly done that in the wet.”

Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing