Oliveira and Vazquez visit Mahindra Racing headquarters in India
New Mahindra Racing teammates Miguel Oliveira and Efren Vazquez set off for a little tour through India last week, lining up for the offical rider presentation and visiting the headquarters of Mahindra ahead of the first pre-season tests. They were also present at the ET Zig Wheels Awards and were honoured for their achievements in racing thus far.
Mahindra is aiming for much better results this year, announcing their new partnership with Suter to radically improve their bike’s performance, shifting their base from Italy to Switzerland to work closer together with the new partner, and with a strong new rider line-up the goals have been readjusted.
“It’s going to be a new bike, a new engine and a lot of work. Miguel and I will work as a team to push Mahindra as high as possible,” said Efren Vazquez during the official presentation in India. While Mahindra may have had an impressive run in the CIV Championship last season where they won the Constructor’s title in their debut season, Moto3 will be a far tougher arena to compete in.
“Mahindra is a big company with the same mentality as KTM. They want to be world champions. They want to be in front, not behind. This is one of the best opportunities of my life, if not the best”, Vazquez continued.
The partnership with Suter might make things a little easier for his teammate Miguel Oliveira, who raced for Suter Honda last season. “I don’t look at the past. Mahindra didn’t have a good bike last season, but this year they have changed everything. That’s the main factor that prompted me to sign up with them. One thing that will work in my favour is the involvement of Suter. I know most of the technical staff. We have all the elements to be successful, now we just need to work hard”, Oliveira said.
“It’s a new team and that’s what makes this journey more challenging. We have little time, but I have faith in the whole set of people behind the bike to make this season a success”, the Portuguese rider affirmed.
Team CEO Mufaddal Choonia isn’t yet jumping the gun, but is also excited about the prospects this season.
“We weren’t entirely happy with the performance last season, so we decided to work with people who have experience and are champions. Suter had already proved themselves. There are not many companies who have been consistent like them,” Choonia said.
He added that they specifically wanted to hire riders who finished in the Top 10 in 2012 and that’s how Vazquez and Oliveira came into the picture. “Amongst the few riders that we spoke to, Efren and Miguel were the ones who believed the most in the project. They were willing to work hard with us,” Choonia said.