The 2016 season has been a wonderful year for Mahindra Racing at the Moto3 world championship. Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra) achieved his and the manufacturer’s first-ever win at the Dutch Grand Prix when he managed to break away the pack during the last lap upon the MGP3O Mahindra Moto3 bike. The first ever Sunday race at Assen was dominated by Italian riders, who achieved the top-five spots.
The Mahindra Moto3 effort has taken great strides in a brief span of time. The Mahindra Moto3 team which entered the championship in 2011 has been very consistent in picking up points scoring finishes. Mahindra’s success in the Moto3 championship is commendable given the relative lack of Indian involvement in motorsport. The Mahindra Moto3 team is the first Asian and non-Japanese race team to have won a GP.
Mahindra started in the newly formed Moto3 class in 2012, and also entered in the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV) the same year. The team won the CIV Constructor’s Cup and hence became the first Indian team to have won an international motorsport event. It also entered in the 250cc class in 2013; which was significant as Mahindra had developed its own 250cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine with inputs from Suter Racing Technology AG. Mahindra’s MGP3O race machine which was ridden by riders Andrea Locatelli and Michael Rinaldi led Mahindra Racing team to win the Constructor’s title for the second consecutive year.
The Mahindra Moto3 effort had even higher targets for the 2014 season. The season saw three podium finishes and one-second place finish for Mahindra from Brad Binder, who was racing for Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra’s customer team). By the end of the season, the MGP30 had six top four finishes and Mahindra Racing stood third in the Constructor’s title.
In 2015, Mahindra came out as an independent constructor. Not only this, they supported four other customer teams, including the multi-time championship winning Aspar Team. It was during this season that Francesco Bagnaia switched from the Sky VR46 team to the Aspar Team and rode the MGP3O along with team mate Jorge Martin.
After its first ever victory, the Mahindra Moto3 team will be looking to get many more such victories and eventually a Moto3 championship under their belt. It is hoped that Indian riders will soon start racing in the International arena with support from Mahindra. We can only hope to see the first Indian winner of a Moto3 race in the near future.