2016 HAS gone down in history as Mahindra Racing’s most successful Moto3 TM World Championship campaign to date. Goals were achieved and surpassed, causing the bar to constantly raise as the season progressed.
The start to 2016 was immediately Mahindra’s best as Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia put his Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 machine on the podium in the season opener at Qatar with third place. When the Moto3 TM World Championship returned to Europe, Bagnaia scored a further two podiums before grabbing Mahindra Racing’s first win by conquering ‘The Cathedral’ in Assen, which also happened to be the 800 th lightweight class grand prix. John Mcphee soon repeated the achievement in Brno, Jorge Martin’s second place behind him ensuring a first one-two finish for the MGP3O.
After a second place podium finish in Silverstone, the year finished on a high with Bagnaia scoring a last victory in Sepang, helping him to secure fourth place in the riders’ championship. This marked Mahindra Racing’s best result to date in the riders’ standings, and with 211 points, 2016 proved to be the most successful as a constructor as well.
Taking development work of the MGP3O in house at the Besozzo research and development centre has played a major role in achieving these results. This move has allowed Mahindra Racing to work at their own pace with their industry leading team.
Key technical partners have also helped Mahindra Racing to excel and 2017 is set to continue the trend. While the testing ban has settled in for the winter months, the team in Besozzo are hard at work. The off-season gives riders and team members a chance to briefly relax, but for the development team it is the busiest time of year as they aim to finalise everything for the coming season.
With Moto3 Junior World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta joining Albert Arenas in the factory Aspar Mahindra Team, the talent and experience is in place to keep challenging for victory in 2017. The pair will be joined on MGP3Os by Jakub Kornfeil, Patrik Pulkkinen, Enzo Boulom and Marco Bezzeccchi in the upcoming season – a perfect mix of experience and raw young speed.
Riders have already had their first taste of the MGP3O, running at tests in Jerez and Valencia in November. Initial impressions were positive, and the data and comments gathered have since been passed back to the team in Italy to help shape the final 2017 MGP3O.
Nurturing young talent continues to be an ever-growing area of focus for Mahindra Racing with the partnership with Max Biaggi the latest stage of an ever growing program. Former Supermoto rider Alessandro Del Bianco will join the promising young talent of Davide Baldini. Biaggi’s all-Italian team is set to compete in the CIV full-time alongside appearances in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 TM Junior World Championship.
Biaggi’s duo won’t be the only factory Mahindra rider in the Junior World Championship as Raul Fernandez enters the season with the Mahindra Aspar Junior Team as a title contender. With four podiums and victory in the final race of the year, Fernandez secured himself third place in the prestigious feeder-championship and the attention of many talent scouts.
Both Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Alberta Arenas were full of praise for the MGP30 after their first tests. Mixed conditions gave both riders a chance to explore the full performance of the machine, finding positives in both the wet and dry. Leaving the test satisfied, all the Mahindra riders have an intense off-season of physical and mental preparations before testing resumes in the New Year.