Mahindra so close at crazy German Grand Prix
Mahindra riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrötter came so close to scoring points in a mixed-up German Moto3 Grand Prix today, fighting for centimeters in a big gang going for those crucial top-15 positions in a race delayed by a massive cloudburst and run on a tricky drying surface.
Marcel crashed out of a strong position in the group with just three of 27 laps of the tight 3.671-km circuit remaining.
Danny made the finish in 18th place, less than a second off the top 15 and inches behind erstwhile championship leader Maverick Vinales.
A crowd of more than 80,000 bathed in bright sunshine for the first two races, then were drenched as the Moto3 bikes were assembling on the grid. The race was delayed to give flooded sections track a chance to drain. By the end the track was half-dry, with overtaking almost impossible as riders had to stick to a single dry line.
The race was won by German Sandro Cortese, who took over the championship lead.
“Even though we had no points, this was one of the better races of the year,” said team manager Nicola Casadei. “We were close to the points with no engine trouble, and at the end both riders were doing the same lap times as the top-ten riders. With better starting positions they would have been in the points.”
It was Schrötter’s last race with the team a mutual decision to part company, on good terms. Subject to the approval of teams’ association IRTA, the MGP-30 will now be ridden by 27-year-old Italian Championship rider Riccardo Moretti, currently running second in the Italian national 125 championship on a two-stroke Mahindra.
“We would like to thank Marcel for his contribution during the last two years,” commented Mahindra Racing CEO Mufaddal Choonia. “He is a very talented rider. We part on good terms and he goes with our best wishes and a hope that we may work together again in the future.
“We have made an application for Riccardo Moretti to take over from the next race this weekend at Mugello. Riccardo rides for us in the Italian Championship, has Grand Prix experience and is well placed to help develop our bike.”
The Mahindra MGP-30 is one of four independent Moto3 machines in its first year of development as it prepares to challenge the racing establishment.
Next Sunday the Italy-based team races in the Italian GP at Mugello.