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Mahindra make impressive debut in Qatar

The Indian manufacturer saw riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrötter finished 16th and 21st respectively.

Mahindra Racing made its race debut with a fight for a point under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit for the opening round of the 125cc class of the MotoGP World Championship.

British rider Danny Webb made strong progress from 22nd on the grid to be fighting for 15th and the point which it brings for much of the race, just losing the place with only two laps left in the 18 lap race, meaning that Mahindra finished shy of a debut point by just 0.394 seconds.

Marcel Schrötter on the second Mahindra GP125 finished in 21st after also being involved in race long battles for position.

It was a solid first race weekend for the Indian-owned Engines Engineering designed and built Mahindra GP125. After promising practice sessions, all held at night at the 5.38km circuit, the riders were a mere 0.006 seconds apart in qualifying, lining up in 22nd and 23rd on the 30-bike grid.

Team Principal Mufaddal Choonia was proud of the team’s debut: “This was an emotional day for us as for the first time the Mahindra GP125 has raced in a World Championship race. By fighting for a point on our debut we think the paddock has seen the promise of Mahindra Racing. We have been moved by how much support we have received outside of the paddock too. Both our riders and the team showed tremendous promise and potential for the season ahead and we hope to be battling our more experienced rivals for points in the very near future.”

Leading Mahindra’s charge, 19 year-old Webb from England was happy with his race performance: “To finish in 16th after starting in 23rd was a tough battle and I was fighting all the way. I got a good start and was making up places in the early laps, but no-one was having any dramas up ahead so it was difficult to get any further forwards. It was frustrating to lose out on 15th and a point, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have at least one in the next race.”

Eighteen year-old Schrötter from Germany, finished in 21st: “I tried my best today, and I know that myself and the team are improving step by step so I’m positive for the future.”

CEO of Engines Engineering, Alberto Strazzari gave his perspective on Mahindra Racing’s debut. “This was a fantastic weekend from an engineering perspective. The bikes have performed very well. The speed of the GP125 was good which means the power from our engine can take the fight to our competition. It was frustrating not to get a point today, but we are hoping for better in the next race.”

Tags:
125cc, 2011, Marcel Schrotter, Danny Webb, Mahindra Racing

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