Mahindra Racing Scores Points In Texas
Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia rode to a dogged 14th place in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas – pulling through from the sixth row of the grid to preserve the only Indian constructor in the championship’s full-house record of points in all three races this year.
This is Bagnaia’s second time scoring points, but far short of his first-race podium in Qatar.
The 19-year-old Italian had qualified on the sixth row of the grid, and moved gradually forward over the course of the 18-lap race. Riding with smooth consistency to make the most of his MGP3O’s strong points, his reward was to move up into the points.
Team-mate Jorge Martin failed to finish, after a tangle at one of the first-gear corners saw him fall without injury. He had fought through from 20th on the grid, and was gaining place inside a big group disputing top-ten positions.
The 5.513-km CotA circuit, outside the Texan capital of Austin, has several very slow corners, but is otherwise long, fast, and highly technical. The stop-start sections play against the sweet-handling Mahindra, which comes into its own on more rhythmic circuits.
The situation was complicated when changing weather hit the Saturday afternoon qualifying session. The track started damp, was briefly dry, then light rain started again. Any riders who had missed that brief window had to be content with lowly grid positions.
Peugeot Motocycles, Mahindra’s second brand in the championship, was just out of the points, with Peugeot MC SaxoPrint rider Alexis Masbou placed 16th.
The next race is the Spanish GP at Jerez in two weeks, the first round of the European season.
PECCO BAGNAIA – 14th place
It was a difficult race, with the big accelerations and long straight. I was able to improve my position, but in the end I couldn’t catch the group ahead. At least we got two points, and now we go to tracks that will suit us better.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
This was a race where qualifying played an extremely crucial part in the finishing positions. More or less, riders finished where they had qualified; and the weather played a big part in the qualifying order. Now we look forward to the European rounds at circuits that are a little more advantageous to our bike, while we bring development parts and updates to improve the overall performance of the bike.