The 2011 125cc season will see the Mahindra Group become the first Indian manufacturer to enter a team in grand prix motorcycle road racing.

Mahindra's entry to the MotoGP Championship follows its acquisition of Engines Engineering of Italy, a company that has been constructing race bikes and providing specialised components and technical support for teams in Motorcycle Grand Prix since 2003.

The Mahindra 125GP motorcycle has been designed and developed by the Italian two-wheel specialist.

Briton Danny Webb and German Marcel Schr?tter, both with prior GP experience, will ride for Mahindra Racing - and the company today (Friday) introduced its riders to the Indian media on a visit to the Mahindra headquarters in Mumbai.

"It is a matter of great pride for us to represent India in the world's most prestigious two-wheeled race series," said Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group.

"Mahindra Motorcycles will compete with the best in class, and it will be an ideal opportunity for us to showcase our strengths in the engineering and IT domains.

"[Grand prix] is the ultimate test for the finest talents in motorcycle racing and an immensely popular championship with a cult following.

"Our participation will also help us leverage the power of global branding for the Mahindra Group."

19-year-old Webb will be starting his fifth full season in the 125cc class in 2011.

"I hope that all the experience I have racing in the 125cc class can help this new but ambitious team and I can take a step up this year," said Webb. "It is a privilege to ride for the first Indian team to enter the World Championship. There seems to be a real buzz about India in international sport at the moment and it would be great if we get a good Indian following."

18-year-old Schr?tter, a former German and European 125cc champion, added: "It is exciting to be part of an international collaboration, especially with a company like Mahindra whose ethos is to support upcoming talent. With a year's experience in the World Championship under my belt, I am now looking forward to making a mark with Mahindra Racing at the MotoGP World Championships."

MotoGP is in discussions about a possible Indian Grand Prix in the near future.



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