Mahindra reaches goals in last 125cc race at Valencia
After its first year in GP racing, the Indian Mahindra team closed its account with several aims achieved.
Rider Marcel Schrötter rode a well-judged race to finish in the points, achieving his and the team’s pre-season aim of finishing in the top 15 of the championship.
His points added to the team’s tally to underline third place in the constructors’ championship (49 points).
And the Indian manufacturer has written its name firmly in the record books after a first year of learning, ready to take a step forward next year in the all-new Moto3 category that replaces the traditional 125s.
Schrötter (18, from Germany) finished 12th in cool, damp and windy conditions today, adding four points to bring his year’s total to 36. He had come to Valencia equal on points with Italian rider Simone Grotzkyj, but behind overall because his rival had a better race result, tipping the balance in his favour.
But the last 125 race brought disappointment to 20-year-old Briton Danny Webb, who started from his and Mahindra’s first-ever pole position. Pushing hard to overcome small but costly problems, Webb was well in the points when he crashed out after 11 of 24 laps of the 4.005km Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia.
This was the 17th and final round of the World Championship, the last for 125 machines. The day before the race Mahindra Group managing director Mr Anand Mahindra had unveiled the Mahindra MGP30, the 250cc four-stroke Mahindra Moto3 machine, to an appreciative paddock crowd.
MARCEL SCHRÖTTER – 12th Position (15th place in the championship with 36 points)
It was a difficult race, because there was a little rain throughout and it was hard to find the limit. I had a good start and was in a good group, but all weekend we have had little problems with acceleration. I was good on the brakes so I could pass them into the corners, but they would pass me back on the next straight. In the last laps I knew I was in the points. It made no sense to risk that, so I brought it home and got 15th overall in the championship, which was my aim. It was a good ending to the year. I did a big burn-out to say goodbye to my 125.
DANNY WEBB – Did Not Finish (19th place in the championship with 24 points)
Disappointing after my first pole, but I tried my hardest to give Mahindra a good finish to the first year, and unfortunately I pushed too hard. Conditions were difficult and I was having problems with front grip. I lost a few positions, and I didn’t want to lose any more. So I pushed, and it was a bit too much.
I know it is a cliché, but ‘that’s racing’. Yesterday we were celebrating Danny’s pole position but today, sadly, he fell. However, Marcel summed up the strength of this team to come home with a strong points finish bringing to an end a very satisfying year for Mahindra Racing. My experience this weekend, and the experience of the team throughout the whole season, has only renewed our commitment to the sport. I said it yesterday when we unveiled our wonderful new Moto3 bike – we are here to stay.”
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