Mahindra Racing rider Riccardo Moretti won the season opening race of the 125GP Italian Championship at Mugello. His teammate, Indian rider Sarath Kumar though was forced to retire due to a technical issue.
After an exceptional qualifying session, Moretti started the race from the pole position, while Kumar got off from the 22nd spot on the grid.
It was the first outing for the young Indian rider at the Italian track having crashed earlier during the wet second qualifying session on Saturday.
Moretti though catapulted himself into the lead from pole position and quickly extended his advantage. Kumar, on the other hand, didn't get the best start he was able to settle into a good rhythm and overtake several riders ahead of him.
At the half-way point, Moretti was almost ten seconds clear of the second placed rider. Kumar was continually pushing hard as well, but a technical issue put paid to his chances due three laps from the flag.
Thanks to the debut win, Moretti leads the standings after the opening round.
Mufaddal Choonia, Principal of Team Mahindra Racing said, “We feel ecstatic winning the first race of the Italian championship which is one of the toughest national motor racing championships in the world”.
Talking about his debut win, Moretti quipped, "We started this season in the best way possible.”
“During the course of the week-end I got to know both bike and time much better and I can say we're still not at 100% but surely there's a room for improvement.”
About a low-key first outing in the Italian championship, Sarath said, "It has been a very good experience for me, despite the technical problem that didn't allow me to finish the race.”
“I learned a lot, though. I didn't get the perfect start but my race pace was not so bad. Next time I will do better, I'm sure."