Mahindra Racing created history at Jerez as rider Marcel Schrotter brought home first World Championship points for the Indian team, finishing 13th in the second round of the 2011 MotoGP 125cc season. The race got underway in damp, patchy conditions with all riders starting on wets but proceedings turned difficult as the rain became stronger midway. Despite far from ideal conditions, Marcel managed to keep things from spilling as the race claimed a total of nine retirements including his highly-experienced team mate Danny Webb.
In a race dominated from the front by Spaniard Nico Terol, it wasn’t the best of starts for the German rider as he was pushed off-line onto the wetter part of the circuit and lost crucial positions while trying to keep the bike upright in the following couple of laps. The pack ahead managed to leave Marcel scrabbling for pace but he managed to claw back positions slowly. “I knew I was faster than the others, so the finish was not so bad but I need to work on my speed in the early laps”, he said later.
Things turned out quite differently for teammate Webb as the Brit rider quickly fought his way up into the top ten from a distant 19th grid position. However, the pack following closely behind forced him to push further when he encountered traction issues with the rear of the bike- presumably due to a soft suspension setting. He lost the battle with grip in lap ten when the rear end wrung itself from under Webb’s control and culminated his race. He left the track on a stretcher, but escaped the worse. “I’m not badly hurt, and at least it was a strong race, and I can come back stronger for the next one. These things happen", quipped Webb.
The unnaturally high number of retirements may seem to have contributed to Mahindra first points- but like the old racing cliché goes- “To finish first, you must first finish”. The myriad retirements do not take any credit away from the young German who rode with his head down from start to finish and got his machine home in World Championship points. A proud moment for our nation indeed!