Team Aspar Mahindra rider
Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia fought to a brilliant second place finish in a
hold-your-breath Moto3 battle at Silverstone on September4, 2016, finishing
less than two tenths of a second away from victory at the sharp end of a
12-strong brawl. But it was South African Brad Binder (KTM) who strengthened
his title bid with a solid Silverstone victory ahead of Francesco Bagnaia and
Pecco started from his first
pole position, and fought every inch of the 17 laps of the long and technically
challenging 5.9-km British circuit to stay at the front of a massive group,
with riders changing places at every one of the 18 corners.
It came down to cool-headed
tactics in a hot-headed group. Bagnaia started the last lap in third place, but
used his experience to move up to second, finally crossing the line right in
the slipstream of race and championship leader Brad Binder (KTM). It gave him
20 valuable points, moving him up to third overall in the championship, just
eight points short of second-placed Jorge Navarro (Honda), who crashed out of
It was almost two Mahindras on
the podium, with wild card Stefano Manzi (Mahindra Racing) making blazing
progress from 34th on the grid to join the lead pack in the early stages. The
17-year-old Italian fought to the end, holding his own among the biggest names
in the fiercely competitive Moto3 class. And it was almost three MGP3Os in the
top ten, with second Aspar Team rider Jorge Martin eleventh in spite of a
penalty that had obliged him to drop back in the leading group.
Second at Silverstone is a
second successive podium finish for the only Indian constructor in the World
Championship, and continues Mahindra’s best ever season. Bagnaia claimed the
MGP3O’s first win at Assen, and has been in the top three five times; while
Martin claimed his first podium, finishing second at Brno two weeks ago. The
winner there was Mahindra’s sister brand Peugeot, with John McPhee taking his
first win on the MGP3O.
The intensive MotoGP season
moves directly to Italy next weekend, for the San Marino and Rimini GP at
Misano, where Mahindra Racing will celebrate its 100th Gran Prix race start.
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