The 2016 Moto3 season has been the best so far for Team Mahindra Racing, and going by how close the racing was this season, the stats are impressive indeed. The Indian outfit managed to score 211 points by the end of the season and is hoping to build upon its current form in 2017.
The season began on a positive note with Francesco â€˜Peccoâ€™ Bagnaia securing a podium at the opening round in Qatar. He followed that with two more podiums in Jerez and Mugello, before scoring Team Aapar Mahindraâ€™s first victory at the Dutch TT in Assen.
John McPhee (team Pugeot MC Saxoprint) was the second rider who scored a victory, taking top honours at the Czech Republic GP. Jorge Martin grabbed P2 in the same race to give Mahindra its first one-two finish in the championship.
Bagnaia continued his impressive form aboard the MGP30, crossing the line in P2 at Silverstone, giving the team valuable points and highlighting the progress it made during the season. Bagnaia secured another win for the team at the Malaysian GP in Sepang, earning the title of the team’s most successful rider.
The team attributed its rise in form to its decision to carry out development work of the MGPO3 (Mahindraâ€™s race bike) at the Besozzo Research & Development centre. The facility allowed the team to work at its own pace along with its key technical partners.
The development team is now hard at work during the winter break and is looking to build an even more competitive race bike for the 2017 season. Testing begins in the new year.
There are changes to the rider line-up for 2017 at Mahindra. Moto3 Junior World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta will join Albert Arenas at the factory Aspar Mahindra Team. Joining the duo are Jakub Kornfeil, Patrik Pulkkinen, Enzo Boulom and Marco Bezzecchi. The team says that it has the right mix of experience and raw talent in its rider line-up for next year, and it believes that they can aim for more victories next year.
The riders got a chance to ride the MGP30 at the tests in Valencia, and theyâ€™ve gathered valuable data that will help the team in developing the 2017 MGP30.
Earlier this year, Mahindra Racing announced that Max Biaggi is its new brand ambassador. The Italian rider is a double-WSBK champion and four-time 250cc champion and brings in a truck load of expertise that will boost Mahindra Racingâ€™s prospects in the future. Mahindra Racingâ€™s partnership with Max Biaggi also aims to nurture and promote young racing talents.
In 2017, Max Biaggi will be the team principle of a Mahindra-backed team in the Italian CIV Championship. The team will also participate in a few races of the Spanish FIM CEV Repsol Honda Moto3 Junior World Championship. Erstwhile Supermoto rider Alessandro Del Bianco and Davide Baldini will ride for the team.
Mahindra will also field the Mahindra Aspar Junior Team at the Junior World Championship, with Raul Fernandez in the saddle.
If 2016 is anything to go by, 2017 surely looks promising for Team Mahindra Racing.