Mahindra kept its promise to former rider Francesco Bagnaia by giving the Italian the Moto3 bike with which he claimed his and the factory's first grand prix win!

Bagnaia took the historic victory at Assen last season, followed by a further win in Malaysia on his way to fourth in the world championship.

Pecco then stepped up to the Moto2 class for 2017, with the VR46 team, bringing an end to his two seasons with the Indian manufacturer. But rider and bike were reunited on Tuesday when, after a call from Mahindra Racing CEO Mufaddal Choonia, Bagnaia was given his race-winning machine at the team's headquarters in Besozzo, Italy.

"Today was something very special, it brought back many fantastic memories for all of us," Choonia said. "When Pecco got us our first podium of 2016 in the season opener in Qatar, I promised him his bike to keep if he also got us our first race win that year, a little extra motivation - not that he needed much more. After his incredible win in Assen, he came to me and asked me if I remembered the promise I made to him in Qatar.

"At Mahindra, when we make a promise, we keep it. It was wonderful to see Pecco today and reminisce about our two years together. He may be in Moto2 now, but he will always be a part of the Mahindra family, our history, and we certainly have someone to cheer for in the intermediate class now! It has been a difficult start to 2017 for us, but everyone here in the factory and at the track is working to help put us back on top of the box, just like with Pecco."

Bagnaia added: "It was fantastic to see my bike again. I have to say thank you to Mahindra Racing, Mufaddal and the team for allowing me to always keep it in my collection. We made many great memories together and straight away from 2015 I knew that this bike had a lot of potential. The chassis was always so great and my two years with Mahindra taught me so much about racing and learning how to always get the most out of my bikes.

"We had some great races together during the two years but nothing will beat Assen in my memory. Crossing the line in first was unbelievable, knowing I had taken my first victory but then to see everyone from Mahindra and Aspar in Parc Ferme, the emotion, it was all so special.

"When I have time I still like to return to the team box after I am done in Moto2, give some tips to the new riders and catch up with everyone. I want to say thank you again to Mufaddal, Mahindra and the team for giving me this bike and I know they will find their speed again."

Mahindra has scored just two points in the opening four rounds of this year's Moto3 World Championship, while Bagnaia took his first Moto2 podium last time at Jerez.

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