So close for Mahindra Racing at Jerez
Mahindra Racing’s Danny Webb lost a possible top-ten finish with a technical issue in a thrilling Moto3 race at today’s Spanish GP, in which the weather played a big hand.
Team-mate Marcel Schrötter also just missed first points on the all-new 250cc four-stroke machine, after hitting a puddle on the first lap and slipping off. He remounted, pitted for repairs and rejoined, but finished 16th, one place out of the points.
After two days of bad weather, the race started in dry conditions but with the track strewn with wet patches from earlier rain. Schrötter (19, from Germany) was one of several to fall victim on a hectic last lap, when he was forced wide onto a wet patch.
Webb survived the carnage to finish lap one 23rd position. But the 21-year-old Briton was soon picking his way forward, using the MGP30’s fine handling and his own wet-weather skills to move up to 11th place, in a pack of seven bikes disputing sixth place.
He was biding his time when a technical issue stopped him in his tracks after 15 of 23 laps.
Mahindra is one of a handful of independently made motorcycles, in pursuit of its own technical advantage. The machine is in its infancy compared with the over-the-counter rivals, but already able to challenge for the points. Further upgrades to the engine are expected in one or two races.
The next round is at Estoril in Portugal next weekend, where both riders are hoping for similar mixed conditions to help them make the most of their skills.
MARCEL SCHRÖTTER – 16th position
My start was okay, and I was picking up positions, especially through the last fast section. I braked late for the last hairpin, in a pack of bikes, and I was forced to go over a wet patch ... and unfortunately I crashed. I pitted and went out again, and the bike went perfectly, but I had lost too much time. It’s disappointing, because I think I could have had a good top-ten finish. Now we will try again at Estoril.
DANNY WEBB – Did Not Finish
I got in the wrong group after the start, but once I could get away I started chipping away at the six-second gap to the next group. I knew I could catch them, but it was hard to pass once I got there – so I was biding my time and waiting for the last laps. I was confident of getting some more places, and I was expecting eighth or ninth. Then on lap 15 with the gas wide open the engine suddenly stopped. I’m disappointed, but it’s shown what we’re capable of doing. We’ll take up where we left off at Estoril.