Double Trouble In Spain For Mahindra Pair
Aspar Mahindra riders Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin endured their worst race of the season so far in today’s Grand Prix of Catalunya – the first time in seven races that at least one of the factory-backed Mahindra MGP3O riders has not finished in the points, with each falling out of the race.
It was especially cruel for Bagnaia, who had started from the third row of the grid and was holding his own in the usual leading pack of ten or more riders, with high hopes of being in position to attack in the closing stages to claim a classic fourth podium finish of the season.
Through no fault of his own the 19-year-old Italian was sent flying off the track and out of the race, when another rider lost control and hit his back wheel.
Martin also suffered distressingly bad luck after steadily working his way up from 22nd on the grid to a good position in the points, which would at least have preserved a perfect scoring record for the factory-backed team.
With less than six of the 22 laps of the 4.655-km circuit outside of Barcelona remaining, Martin slipped off on the first corner set, and was unable to restart.
It was left to customer-team rider Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra) to preserve the perfect points record of the only Indian constructor in the championship. Darryn, younger brother of points leader Brad Binder, finished a career-best 12th, claiming his first World Championship points.
The race, which brought a first win for Honda-mounted Jorge Navarro, was run on a reconfigured version of the circuit, after a tragic accident on the first day of practice that took the life of Spanish Moto2 rider Luis Salom. For the rest of the weekend, MotoGP adopted a slower version of the track, using chicanes already in place to slow Formula 1 cars.
Mahindra Racing and the Aspar Mahindra team and riders joined the motorcycle grand prix community in expressing heartfelt condolences to Salom’s family, friends and team.
The next race is the Dutch TT at Assen, in three weeks.