Double Points For Mahindra In Season Finale
MAPFRE Team Mahindra riders Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin finished the 2015 season with points for each in today’s Valencia GP, in a difficult race at one of the more challenging track's for the only Indian machine in the world championship series.
Bagnaia finished 13th, with class-rookie Martin one place behind after a dramatic last lap saw mayhem erupt among the leaders.
The tight and twisty Valencia circuit has never been kind to the Mahindra MGP3O, lacking the sort of fast corners and rhythmic sections where riders can make the most of the machine’s superb handling integrity. Instead it plays to different strengths, putting emphasis on low-speed cornering and short bursts of acceleration.
Bagnaia was involved in a four-way scrap in the first third of the 24 laps around the sinuous 4.005-km track, looping back and forth in front of vast grandstands and hillside vantage points.
Once the tire grip faded as the race progressed, the Italian teenager lost touch and was more or less alone to the flag. Bagnaia’s best result this year was third in France – one of five top-ten results in the ultra-competitive Moto3 category. He also claimed fastest lap when battling for the lead in Australia, two races ago.
Martin was within sight of his team-mate throughout, but never close enough to challenge, finishing some three seconds behind, but comfortably clear of the group fighting for the last of the points. Last year’s Red Bull Rookies champion’s first grand prix season has seen several highlights, including a best of seventh in the Aragon GP.
Bagnaia and Martin finished 14th and 17th respectively in the World Championship with Mahindra taking third in the Constructors’ Championship.
Now the GP circus breaks up for the off-season, with action resuming at Qatar on March 20, 2016.
In another exciting year for the maturing Mahindra effort, three customer teams will line up alongside the official MAPFRE Mahindra squad.
The official entry list published yesterday confirms the following:
• MAPFRE Team Mahindra: Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin
• CIP Team: Tatsuki Suzuki and Martin Vanhaeren
• Outox Reset Drink Team: Darryn Binder and Karel Hanika.
• MTA Team Italia: Stefano Manzi and Stefano Valtulini
PECCO BAGNAIA – 13th Place
It was a difficult race so I am really happy to finish off the season with another three points. I was losing a lot of time on the straight, and it was hard to recover that time in the short corners. When the tires went down I couldn’t stay with the group. But I did my best, and my lap times were good, so I am happy.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
Valencia has traditionally been a difficult track for us and it continues to be. We really struggled this weekend, and I am happy to see two of our factory riders in the points. I wish to thank all our riders, also in the customer teams, who have put their faith in us throughout the season. We look forward to their support and patronage next year, and also to welcome Racing Team Germany to the Mahindra family, and we look forward to a stronger presence in 2016.