Double top ten for Mahindra in thrilling Aragon GP
Mahindra team rider Miguel Oliveira showed all his maturity and skill in a desperately difficult Aragon GP today moving through from 20th on the grid to a strong seventh position, beating Brad Binder’s customer MGP3O over the line to put two of the Mahindra machines in the top ten.
The Moto3 race, over 20 laps of the fine 5.078-km Motorland Aragon Circuit, was run in particularly trying conditions after a misty and rainy start to the day caused a delay of almost half an hour. By the time the race did get underway there was a narrow dry line on an otherwise damp circuit, conditions that caught many riders out with wildly changing fortunes for several fancied runners.
One victim was second Mahindra team rider Andrea Migno, in only his third grand prix, after a sensational eighth-place debut two weeks ago. The Italian teenager was again running strongly in the top ten when he touched a damp patch and slipped off after ten laps.
Oliveira conquered not only the conditions but also a problem with his vision after his visor fogged up because of a blocked helmet vent. Unable to see clearly to find his braking points he was forced to slow down to open his visor slightly for the rest of the race. It cost him four seconds and the chance to move even further up the order.
Mahindra is the only Indian constructor in international racing and lies third overall in the constructors’ championship with four of 18 races remaining. The next round is the Japanese GP (10 – 12 October) in two weeks.
Miguel Oliveira – seventh position
“With that qualifying position and these conditions, it was the best I could do. I just wanted to finish the race and I managed to do that. I was pretty comfortable at the end of the race. I knew I couldn’t reach out to catch the front guys, but I was matching the lap times with the front, that was positive. It was really disappointing qualifying so badly, so seventh place is not so bad.”
Andrea Migno – Did not finish
“I have only a little experience in the wet on the Mahindra but I was happy with the way the race was going. I could hold my position in the group and even pass some people but very disappointed for the crash. I just touched a damp patch and was immediately down.”
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO Mahindra Racing
“I am very happy to see two Mahindras finish in the top ten in a race that was so, so difficult. It could have been three if Migno hadn’t crashed, but he was one of many riders who had problems. I’d like to compliment Miguel and Brad Binder for finishing; it showed their abilities as well as the ever-growing strength of our Mahindra machine.”