Triple points for Mahindra trio at Brno
All three Mapfre Team Mahindra riders, Jorge Martin, Pecco Bagnaia and Juanfran Guevara, finished in the points at an abbreviated Moto3 grand prix at Brno today, the trio making a swathe of brilliant red as they rode in close formation, leading a big pack chasing the leaders round 12 laps of the sweeping 5.4-km circuit.
GP rookie Martin came out on top in 11th, just one hundredth of a second ahead of his more experienced team-mate Bagnaia; Guevara was a season-best 14th, with former Mahindra rider Andrea Migno interposing his KTM in 13th at the last gasp.
The first race of the day was cut from a scheduled 19 laps to 12, after a four-bike crash on the first lap left an injured rider by the track, and the red flags came out as he was tended by medical staff.
Martin had qualified ninth and Guevara 13th; but Bagnaia had a mountain to climb, from 27th on the grid. He took a flying start to join his team-mates. He and Martin were changing places all race long.
By that time, an ultra-close lead group had broken free. At the finish, the first nine crossed the line within less than 1.5 seconds.
The race was won by Honda’s Niccolo Antonelli, the Italian’s first victory.
The vivid red Mahindras led an equally furious pursuit group, staying in control under constant pressure, with riders entering the corners of the broad, sweeping circuit four or five abreast.
The Brno race came just one week after a chaotic rain-hit Indianapolis GP, where Martin was again the top scorer, in tenth. The next round is the British GP, at Silverstone, in a fortnight.
JORGE MARTIN – Eleventh Place
The first start was really good and I went with the front group, but then they put out the red flag. For the second start I was in a pack and it was so difficult to pass them. Finally I got to the front of the group and I was catching the front group, but other riders were attacking me, and it was impossible. My pace was good and I am improving step by step. Let’s see what I can do at Silverstone.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
If I were to see the weekend in totality, I guess it was a positive one. Martin had the pace and showed that he can be consistently strong. I believe he has taken one more step in growing up. A bad start let him down and he finished where he did. I also hope this result will lead to the “rediscovery” of Pecco. Finishing 12th after starting 27th is definitely a good feeling under any circumstances. And Juanfran also fought hard to finish in the points. So we go back feeling slightly better than what we did when we came here on Thursday.