India made history getting their feet wet in the Moto GP 125cc World Championship at Qatar, where two Indian teams made a successful debut at this highest level of motorcycle racing. Mahindra Racing took to the floodlit, 5.38km long Losail International circuit circuit arm-in-arm with veteran Italian team Engines Engineering, even as Indian team WTR-Ten10 racing also completed their first round.
The race was dominated by Spaniard Nicolas Terol.
Gritty Mahindra rider Danny Webb from England however did his team proud to put in a quick, consistent performance fighting his way up from 22nd on the starting grid to finish 16th, just one position outside the points. Danny raced a few laps in the points, bagging 15th position after scorching past Louis Rossi when he ran wide exiting the final corner onto the main straight. Louis however recovered to ultimately make a pass on Webb and reclaim the coveted last point two laps before the chequered flag.
Team Mahindra’s German rider, soft-spoken Marcel Schrötter remained focused throughout his race, putting up a determined performance to finish 21st after qualifying in 23rd.
Engines Engineering CEO Alberto Strazzari spoke on behalf of his team to say “This was a fantastic weekend from an Engineering perspective. The bikes have performed very well. The speed of the GP125 was good which means the power from our engine can take the fight to our competition. It was frustrating not to get a point today, but we are hoping for better in the next race.”
Both Mahindra riders suffered minor crashes during Saturday warm-up, but the team integrated to work seamlessly, mechanics and riders functioning like a well oiled machine to fix things overnight, making it evident there’s much to watch out for from these quarters in races to come.
WTR-Ten10 racing’s Francesco Mauriello finished 27th in the same race, his Indian teammate Sarath Kumar only just missing to qualify and compete as the first ever Indian rider in Moto GP, his time of 2 min 15.620 seconds just outside the 2 min 15.467secs qualifying window.
Look out for Mahindra Racing and WTR-Ten10 racing at the Jerez, Spanish 125cc Moto GP scheduled to take place between 1st to 3rd April.