By Lisa Lewis
Mahindra Moto3 rider Danny Webb improved on his qualifying position of 25th despite a terrible start in Sunday's Qatar season opener.
Fellow Moto3 rider Jasper Iwema, who could be seen waving as the lights went out for attention, revealed both he and Webb had hit their speed limiter buttons at the race start.
Iwema posted on Twitter “I wasn't the only button presser...my mate @DannyWebb99 pressed his speed limiter at the race start.”
21 year old Webb was already working hard as Mahindra had given him a new frame to work with just before practice commenced in Qatar.
Despite the ongoing development Webb was satisfied with his bike during the race, after experiencing engine problems and a lack of top speed during practice and qualifying.
“That was better than I expected after struggling in qualifying. The bike didn't miss a beat. I got off the line badly, stone last – but I found my rhythm and focused on passing the people ahead, and staying there.
“We had to grin and bear it this weekend. The engine rules meant we couldn't do much to improve the engine. We're at the beginning of development. For sure we can come to the pace up front.”
Webb, who is running a Marco Simoncelli tribute helmet this season, fared better than German team mate Marcel Schrotter who retired early in the race with gear shift problems.
Mahindra develop their own technology and have built their own MGP30 chassis, they also have their own engine development programme where they are working closely with Italian manufacturer Oral, though the work they can do is limited by the eight engines per rider for the season rule.
The new Moto3 class continues with the Spanish grand prix in Jerez in three weeks' time.