Dutch TT saw Miguel Oliveira secure Mahindra Racing’s 1st podium finishing 3rd after working his way up from 13th place. All the way, the Indian team’s teen driver challenged Alex Rins (2.5 seconds ahead), getting to a strong place in the 6th of 22 laps.
Assen’s Dutch TT race aka ‘the Cathedral of Racing’ spans 4.54 kms a lap. Alex Rins outbraked Oliveira at the final chicane on the last lap crossing the finish line just over half a second before Miguel.
This is Mahindra Racing’s best finish in 2014, similar to Miguel’s 2013 MGP3O finish in Malaysia. Oliveira was glad he didn’t lose much time overtaking or getting involved in accidents at race start, being able to focus on lap time gaining good pace on used tyres for a constant performance which was advantageous.
While Miguel was able to cross Alex Rins for 2nd place, the driver was behind him for a long time allowing him to study Miguel for long enough to pass him in the last braking point. MGO3O still needs working and the team is working very hard. The podium finish at Assen is a motivation ‘to keep working, to improve the bike and be constantly on the podium or winning races’.
Moto3 heads to Sachsenring in a fortnight for the German GP. Alex Marquez won at Assen. Arthur Sissis finished 21st due to handling issues that saw him drop places. Brad Binder finished 9th on a customer Mahindra, and Matteo Ferrari finished 13th to ensure 3 Mahindra bikes finished in points at Assen.
A good start didn’t help as Arthur couldn’t improve on speed with the back chattering going into corners. He also suffered with grip with lap times being 3 seconds slower than qualifying.
Mufaddal Choonia Mahindra Racing CEO was ecstatic after a weekend of ups and downs and race that kept getting better. Despite a disappointing qualifying, Miguel’s race day feat was exemplary and reflected what he’s capable of. In 2013, Mahindra had pole at the Cathedral of Racing but finished 4th. This year’s Dutch GP result fuels hope for improved consistent through this season.