14 March 2014
Jerez Moto3 Test: Eight-strong Mahindra ready for action
Mahindra will have eight full time riders in this year's Moto3 World Championship.
Spurred on by its success last season, Mahindra will have eight full time riders in this year's Moto3 World Championship.
As well as its factory team line-up of Miguel Oliveira and Arthur Sissis, the Indian constructor will support Ambrogio Racing (Brad Binder, Jules Danilo), CIP Moto3 (Bryan Schouten, Alessandro Tonucci) and San Carlo Team Italia (Andrea Locatelli, Matteo Ferrari) with identical MGP3O bikes.
“Preparing to supply eight bikes has been a challenge and a lot of hard work at the track and back at base, but we are working well with all of the Mahindra teams and we have a good package for 2014,” explained Mahindra Racing technical director Davide Borghesi.
“The bikes are identical to the factory machines, and we have two track support staff at each race to work closely with the three customer teams. It is an impressive achievement for such a young constructor as Mahindra to be fielding the second highest number of bikes on the grid.
“But it is testament to the excellent results achieved last year that demand was so high for our bike. Our goal, of course, is that all eight riders will have the opportunity to fight at the front during the course of the season.”
This week's final pre-season test at Jerez ended with Oliveira, who claimed the Suter-built Mahindra's first podium last season, setting the Mahindra pace in tenth place - but just 0.353s from the fastest lap by KTM's Jack Miller.
“It's been a good test,” said the Portuguese. “We had a good base from last year and from the previous tests so no big changes to the bike, just small adjustments on the engine braking, clutch and other settings. Overall I am happy with all of the work this winter. I feel great physically and mentally and very prepared. We are closer to the front now and that makes me excited and motivated about getting to Qatar to start racing.”
“Testing has been positive,” added Mahindra Racing CEO Mufaddal Choonia. “This test isn't about positions, but about fine tuning and developing our strategies for mapping and set up, not only for our Mahindra Racing bikes but also with our new customer teams.
“We've also made various changes within the team as well as adding a new track support team to work with the customer teams and everything has gelled well. I am feeling very positive about the season ahead and am looking forward to Qatar next weekend.
“Testing is one thing, but it is at races that we need to perform and produce results.”
Behind Oliveira, Binder was the next best Mahindra in 16th place (+0.726s), with Sissis and Tonucci within 1.2s of the top.
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