Excellent qualifying for Mahindra riders

Barcelona: Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira claimed his second front-row start of the year for Sunday’s Catalunyan Grand Prix.

Team-mate Efren Vazquez will start behind him, qualifying a best-yet sixth to put international motorcycle racing`s only Indian team in a strong position for the race.

Rising teenage Portuguese star Oliveira is fresh from a fourth-place finish in Italy after challenging throughout. The more experienced Spaniard Vazquez is back after pulling out of that race, recovering from collar-bone surgery.

Both are riding the first development version of the Mahindra MGP3O Moto3? machine. Engine performance and aerodynamics have both been enhanced as development of the brand-new bike continues apace. The white-and-red streamliner is in only its sixth race.

Today’s qualifying continues a positive trend for the Mahindra squad. Six months after the bike first hit the drawing board, shake-down tests proved speed and reliability; results have improved race by race. At the same time the first developments were undergoing thorough tests, before finding their way to the race-track at Catalunya.

The result underlines Mahindra`s growing credibility and status in the paddock, and has further quickened interest in the machine from other teams, interested in the prospect of running the MGP3O in next year`s series.

"We have the infrastructure for supplying the MGP3O to other Moto3 teams next year as per the Moto3 regulations for 2014," explained Mahindra Racing CEO Mufaddal Choonia.

"It`s quite an exciting time in the paddock because we are getting approaches from a number of teams interested in Mahindra and the possibility of using the MGP3O as their official bike next season.

"And it would be extremely satisfying to see more Mahindra MGP3Os on the grid. It would certainly make us proud."