Mahindra riders fare well in testing

Jerez (Spain), March 22 (IANS) Mahindra Racing completed its programme of pre-season testing in glorious sunshine here Thursday with their riders, Portugal’s Miguel Oliveira and Spaniard Efren Vazquez finishing sixth and 16th, respectively, on the time charts in the Moto3 class.

The new look Mahindra team has made steady progress throughout the winter tests. The focus this week was to work on set-up for the all-new red and white Mahindra MGP-3O motorcycles and to record as many kilometres as possible to identify any issues.
The riders have completed a combined total of 2,427 trouble-free kilometres here at the venue for the third round of this year’s MotoGP World Championship. The bikes will now be packed up and shipped directly to Qatar for the season-opening race April 7.
“I am very satisfied with the package we have put together since last season in terms of the riders, team and bike,” said Mahindra Racing CEO Mufaddal Choonia.
“We are achieving the targets we set after some very hard work from all concerned over the winter. This is an entirely new bike developed between our new Swiss base and Mahindra in India.
“I think it looks great and the feedback from the riders has been good. It is encouraging to see that our times have not been far from the top group during these tests, but we are not getting ahead of ourselves.”
Miguel Oliveira’s best lap time of one minute, 47.548 seconds (almost half a second quicker than he went at the February test), was the fourth fastest of the final day.
The 18-year-old from Pragal near Lisbon suffered a small fall in the windy conditions, but was nevertheless pleased with the test.
“We have created a good, solid base to start the season. This has been a really good start with no problems with the engine and we have not finished developing the bike yet, so I am sure we can make more improvements.
“What is interesting now is to go to other circuits and work on setting up the bike for those. I can’t wait until Qatar, as racing is different from testing and so only then will we have a true indication of where we are.”