Martin’s best of three Mahindras in the points in Spain
Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Jorge Martin backed up his best-ever second-row start with a best-yet seventh place finish in today’s Aragon Grand Prix. The 17-year-old grand prix rookie had qualified fourth, and even challenged for the lead in the early laps.
The bright red MGP3O made a splash of colour as the first-timer jousted with the established leaders of the Moto3 class at the front of the lead pack. As the much more experienced riders gradually picked him off, he stayed with a furious group of ten until the closing stages of the 20 lap race at the challenging 3.16-mile/5.08-km circuit set in scenic countryside in the north-east of Spain.
He was still close behind in a strong tenth, well clear of the pursuers, as they started a dramatic last lap. The two championship leaders Danny Kent and Enea Bastianini and winner Miguel Oliveira’s team-mate Brad Binder all crashed out, promoting the 2014 Red Bull Rookies champion to seventh, his second top ten finish of his first season.
Two more of the world championship’s only Indian constructor’s machines also claimed points in the top 15.
Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Pecco Bagnaia and rookie Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia) finished eleventh and 12th, inches apart, at the head of a massive brawl for the last scoring positions. Bagnaia had qualified 18th and frequently headed the gang, but was unable to escape when it was still possible to close the gap on the lead group.
The grand prix circus leaves Europe now for a punishing three-in-a-row run of overseas races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, before the season finale in Valencia in November.
JORGE MARTIN – Seventh Place
This was a really hard race. I was losing a lot of time on the long straights, but the chassis was so good and I was comfortable with the suspension, so I was able to stay with the group for every lap. In the end it was so hard with the tires sliding a lot – but the top ten again is really good, and it’s my best result so far.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
That was a very exciting race. We seldom see such drama on the last lap. We knew Aragon would be difficult because of the very long straight, so we’re pleased to come away with a decent result, and three Mahindras in the points. This race will give Jorge a huge boost to his confidence, so we hope to see more of this. Pecco Bagnaia again got stuck in the wrong group because of poor qualifying, but he managed to hold on. Happy to see Manzi in 12th – he is showing his talent in his first year.