Mahindra Racing closes season with goals achieved
Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira closed off his and Mahindra Racing’s 2014 season with a last lap stalk-and-pounce move that secured eighth place in today’s season-ending Valencia GP, his own top-ten finish in the championship, and the only Indian marque in international racing’s third place in the Constructors’ championship.
The Portuguese teenager arrived tied on points with customer Mahindra racer Brad Binder, and needed to finish ahead of the Ambrogio Racing rider to secure his championship place, tenth overall.
He did so with a superb tactical ride, after finishing the first lap 19th. Over the 24 laps of the tight and technical Ricardo Tormo circuit, he picked his way through the heavy traffic with trade-mark precision, to position himself for a successful last-lap attack when another fell in the group. Binder finished ninth, inches behind the official Mahindra Team rider.
Second Mahindra rider Andrea Migno was 18th, three places out of the points when a gamble on a soft-compound tyre went the wrong way, and he lost ground after running strongly in the early laps.
The race also closes the Mahindra Racing team’s account in the highly competitive Moto3 class, after two years campaigning the exclusive MGP3O racer. The machine was designed and built in record time, and over just two seasons has gone from raw rookie to a popular choice for riders, with eight Mahindras on the grid in 2014. Third place in the Constructors’ championship proves the progress from drawing board to podium.
Mr SP Shukla, Chairman of Mahindra Racing and President Mahindra Group – Group Strategy, Defense Sector, and Chief Brand Officer, was at Valencia and pleased to see Mahindra secure third place in the Constructors’ Championship. “It has been a very good weekend,” he said. “I would like to thank our team members and the riders for their contribution to our success over the past two seasons. We move on from here to an exciting new phase, and there is more hard work and more success to come from Mahindra in MotoGP.”
Next year, Mahindra Racing takes the next step as a full-scale independent constructor, supporting customer teams in the most competitive class in the World Championship. The hard work begins this week with a test with new partner Team Aspar, and continues the following week with a group test for the four 2015 Mahindra teams and their nine riders.
Today’s thrilling race was won by Jack Miller (KTM), but with title rival Alex Marquez (Honda) third, the championship went to the latter by just two points.
Miguel Oliveira – eighth place (10th position in the 2014 World Championship)
The race was tough: I didn’t expect such a big group on such a short, tight track. My rhythm was good and I could stay with the pace of the front group, but I started too far behind, and it is very hard to overtake. My goal was to be first Mahindra, and I saw Brad was not so far away. I decided to use the factor of surprise, and on the last lap I passed him. I was lucky not to crash, but he didn’t expect me, and he didn’t defend his position. I want to thank Mahindra for giving me the opportunity to ride this bike for the past two years. I believed in the project from when it was just a piece of paper. It’s been a tough fight because Moto3 is so competitive, and for such a young constructor every good result is like a victory. I wish Mahindra the best of luck for the next stage.
Andrea Migno – 18th place
It was a tough race. I decided to take a risk with a soft tyre, but it didn’t pay off. After the first laps, my pace was not good. But sometimes you have to try things. Thanks to Mahindra for giving me the chance to make my start in GP racing. I will always be grateful to them.
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO Mahindra Racing (Mahindra Racing, third in the Constructors’ Championship)
It was a very important day for Mahindra Racing, the last day for our own team before we begin the transition to full-scale constructor supplying four partner teams in the championship. I’m very happy after our best season in terms of podium finishes, which demonstrates our progress and the development of the MGP3O. Miguel has championed our cause for two years, so thanks to him and best wishes for his future. Andrea came in halfway through the year, and adapted very quickly to the challenge. I think he has a bright career ahead of him. Some team members will not be with us next year, and I thank them for their contribution, which has been so important. However, we are maintaining many of our talented staff members as we move on to the next stage of our MotoGP journey. We are excited to start our innings as a constructor, providing an excellent package to our customer teams and starting our new relationship with the Aspar team. The hard work doesn’t stop for Mahindra Racing. We aim to be back stronger than ever in 2015.”