Crash.Net MOTOGP News
Moto3 launch and first pole for Mahindra
5 November 2011
Mahindra Racing unveiled its 2012 Moto3 challenger at Valencia on Saturday - then celebrated its first ever grand prix pole position!
Mahindra became the first Indian company to enter motorcycle grand prix with its 125cc entry at the start of this season. Mr Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, was on hand to unveil next year's four-stroke.
“I have been watching our progress in the 125cc class all year and am now delighted to finally have the opportunity to witness the fantastic spectacle of MotoGP first hand,” he said.
“I am doubly pleased to be able to unveil the Mahindra Racing MGP30 in person… We have used the final year of the 125cc class to study and learn while concurrently developing our Moto3 bike in Italy.
"I am very proud of the achievement of our team, riders and engineers this year and very excited by the prospect of watching our wonderful new bike compete in this new class in 2012.
"Mahindra has made a strong commitment to MotoGP. We are here for the long term and we intend to succeed. Ladies and gentlemen, watch out! The Indians are coming.”
He added: "[The next step] is to build a great new bike and become a force to be reckoned with in Moto3. The smaller class suits us, as that is where all of our current production sits... there is no reason why we shall not become part of the MotoGP establishment over the course of many years. Yamaha celebrated 50 years in grand prix racing this year. Why not Mahindra in 2061! But, as I say, one step at a time!"
As part of that long-term commitment, Mahindra would naturally like to see motorcycle grand prix racing at India's new Buddh International Circuit.
"For sure it would be great to have an Indian race," he said. "We now have the new track near Delhi that enjoyed an impressive Formula 1 debut last weekend. We know that Dorna is busy with discussions about an Indian race. They are the experts and we'll leave it to them, but we are on hand to give them any advice and assistance should they need it.
"As the popularity of bike racing grows and the impact of new, state-of-the-art facilities such as the Buddh International Circuit are felt, I think we shall naturally see a rise in the standards of two-wheeled racing in India.
"Eventually, we'll see stars emerge who can compete in MotoGP and we shall be very happy to support them. But, we do not believe that we should push Indian riders into the World Championship unless they are demonstrating that they have the potential, talent, determination and speed to be there on merit."
The Mahindra MGP30 Moto 3 bike has been developed in conjunction with specialist design firm Engines Engineering. It features a tubular steel frame and aluminium swing arm. The Mahindra-homologated 250cc, single-cylinder engine has been developed in conjunction with Oral Engineering.
Mahindra rider Danny Webb capped an exciting day for the team by taking the last ever 125cc grand prix pole position during a damp qualifying.
"It's very exciting for all of us to have that winning feeling – although we can't get ahead of ourselves, the race is tomorrow," said Mr Mahindra after qualifying. "The team has made a lot of progress in our first year, and this pole position is a good reward. Let's hope for a good race."
Mahindra's best finish so far this season is ninth place for Marcel Schrotter at Assen. Schrotter is 16th in the championship, Webb 19th.