Oliveira crashes, but rookie Migno finishes a fantastic eighth
Mahindra MGP3O rider Miguel Oliveira crashed out of third place in today’s San Marino & Rimini Riviera GP, missing out on a strong chance of a second top-three podium of the season. The team’s disappointment was overturned by a fantastic ride by rookie recruit Andrea Migno, taking eighth position in only his second GP.
Migno (18), a graduate from Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy, came through from 22nd on the grid to join the cream of the Moto3 class, not only holding his own in a big gang battling for seventh place – including three current GP winners – but working his way to the front of it.
He lost seventh place only on the last lap, finishing second in a group of five high-class riders.
The teenager lives just five kilometers from the Misano circuit, but has very little previous circuit experience, having come to prominence racing in the high-profile Spanish CEV series.
He joined Mahindra at the previous round in Silverstone, taking the place of Australian rider Arthur Sissis for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Oliveira’s disappointment was palpable, after qualifying on the second row of the grid and making a strong start. By lap four he was in third, with the front three breaking away from the pursuit. The Portuguese teenager was poised to make his move in the closing stages of the 23-lap race but just before half distance he slipped off and out of contention, fortunately without injury. A loss of rear tire pressure was the suspected reason.
Brad Binder, riding a customer MGP3O for Ambrogio Racing, finished sixth, resulting in two Mahindra’s in the top ten.
Mahindra is the only Indian constructor in international racing, and the latest results underline how the MGP3O, new last year, has gained strength to challenge the best of the established opposition.
The next race is the Aragon GP, in two weeks.
Andrea Migno – Eighth
“A good race, because I started from 22nd position, very far from the front, but together with Alexis Masbou on the same row, we fought a lot with the other riders, and we moved through together. I kept seventh position until the last lap, then Masbou went ahead. I am very happy with this position. It was my first good race in the World Championship, and I hope always to improve race by race. Thanks to all the team and Mahindra for everything: the bike went really well.”
Miguel Oliveira – Did Not Finish
“In the beginning the rear tire was moving a lot. Now we checked the pressure and everything, and it seemed it dropped quite a bit. I don’t know if it was a tire problem or an issue with the wheel, but the grip went down and the rear was sliding a lot. With such a fast pace it was pretty hard to follow the front two, and I ended up crashing. I’m not happy about that.”
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO Mahindra Racing
“What a day! Completely shattered when Miguel crashed because I believe we were on track to fight for a win, but I am happy for Brad Binder in sixth, and absolutely delighted for probably a future star in Andrea Migno. Any rider would be proud to start 22nd and finish eighth. At a track he doesn’t know well and in his second grand prix, he was unbelievable. This shows great potential, but we’ll keep a low profile now, and see how the rest of the season goes. It also continues to show how strong the Mahindra package is becoming as it gains maturity.”