Mahindra MGP3O rider Efrén Vázquez equalled his best result of the year at Valencia today, finishing a fighting fifth to secure his top-ten championship position and close his account with the team on a high note.
Team-mate Miguel Oliveira was tenth – securing another double top ten for the only Indian constructor in international motorcycle racing in spite of being troubled with set-up issues following an engine-swap before the race. He finished sixth in the World Championship.
Vázquez had qualified on the third row of the grid, started strongly, and had a race-long battle with Japanese GP winner Alex Marquez. He was less than five hundredths of a second adrift over the line.
Oliveira, who scored the first top-three podium for an Indian manufacturer at the Malaysian GP, had a difficult weekend. Testing components for 2014, he was still looking for the right set-up and qualified 17th. An engine swap in the morning complicated matters, but even so he gained seven places to secure tenth.
The Valencia GP was the 17th and final round in the Moto3™ championship, in the first season for the all-new, all-independent Mahindra MGP3O. The 250cc four-stroke single racer, designed and built in record time over the winter, made an impression from its debut, and has already attracted customers from other teams. Next year, there will be at least six Mahindras contesting the MotoGP World Championship.
This was Vazquez’s last race with the team, and his place alongside podium finisher Oliveira will be taken by 18-year-old Australian Arthur Sissis.
EFRÉN VÁZQUEZ – Fifth Position I’m very happy with this result. I fought a lot for fourth place with Marquez, but in the end he was a little faster to the line. All race I could make a good rhythm, staying constant. On the last lap I attacked Marquez again and I made a perfect last corner, but he beat me by a fraction of a second. It’s a good result for my last race with the team, and I want to say thank you to Mahindra Racing, and all the mechanics – especially my chief mechanic Massimo.
MIGUEL OLIVEIRA – Tenth Position Today was very difficult. We changed the engine this morning, and couldn’t set up the bike well. We tried a lot of new things this weekend, but in the end ran out of time to make me fully comfortable. We made some good progress this year, and also a couple of mistakes – but it was a good year. Next season we need to work a lot to stay competitive. I will forget this weekend and look forward to the first tests in the coming week.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – Mahindra Racing CEO
Efrén had a very good race – he was so close to fourth, and it was a great fight. We did face some set-up issues with Miguel’s bike. We tried a lot of new components this weekend, and in the short time we didn’t manage the perfect set up.
I want to sincerely thank both riders, our engineers, and the track team. They all worked so hard to make an exciting season. We had highs and lows, but the ups were greater than the downs. Efrén is joining another team, and I wish him all the best. We welcome a new rider for next year, the Australian Arthur Sissis, in what I am sure will be a strong pairing with Miguel.
I am reasonably satisfied with 2013 – we had a podium, pole position and 10 top five finishes. But we have no time to reflect, as the 2014 season begins tomorrow, and we plan to be even stronger in the second year of this MGP3O racer.
Source: Mahindra Racing
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