Mahindra hoping to end 2017 on a high after Aragon disappointment

Mahindra is now focused on ending its last Moto3 campaign on a high after a disappointing outing in last weekend’s race in Aragon (Spain).

Mahindra hoping to end 2017 on a high after Aragon disappointment
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP-Unicom Starker
Albert Arenas, Aspar Team
Patrik Pulkkinen, Peugeot MC Saxoprint
Albert Arenas, Aspar Team
Patrik Pulkkinen, Peugeot MC Saxoprint
Jakub Kornfeil, Peugeot MC Saxoprint
Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Aspar Team
Jakub Kornfeil, Peugeot MC Saxoprint

Marco Bezzecchi was the only Mahindra rider to start inside the top 20, with the 18-year-old having qualified 17th on the grid.

The Italian dropped a few positions off the line, but stayed as a part of the lead group. This is something that has proven to be difficult for the Indian manufacturer’s riders this season.

He eventually crossed the line 19th, just 4.39ss behind winner Joan Mir in a shortened 13-lap race.

“I didn’t have a good start because I made a mistake with the clutch,” Bezzecchi, who rides a MGP30 for CIP, said. “In the first lap, I tried to stay as close as possible to the group, but I lost a bit coming out of the slow corners.

“I was able to make up a lot of time through the corners and eventually I was there, just at the tail of the group. I feel I’ve made a good race and I have learned a lot again.

“For sure, I’m disappointed with the result because we walk away without points. I gave my best and will keep doing so in the upcoming races. We must work hard there.

Bezzecchi’s teammate Manuel Pagliani was the next highest Mahindra rider in 23rd, two places ahead of Peugeot’s Jakub Kornfeil.

The factory-supported Aspar team had a difficult day in Aragon. Albert Arenas, who finished a career-best eighth in Misano, was down in 27th place, while Lorenzo Dalla Porta crashed out midway through the race.

While Mahindra’s Moto3 boss was naturally disappointed with a non-score - the Indian manufacturer’s first since Austria - he remains upbeat about the remaining quartet of races.

“We expect to finish in the points every race. So we are surely disappointed today,” he said. “But at the same time, Bezzecchi was with the lead pack, again had a better grid position and a good start would have helped him a lot.

“He was with the group until the last lap, but at the end he made sure of getting a finish. Now we look forward to the flyaways and a good close to the 2017 season.”

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