Hohenstein-Ernstthal: Mahindra riders Miguel Oliveira and Efrén Vázquez finished fourth and sixth in the Moto3 German Grand Prix at Sachsenring here Sunday.
A double top-six equals the best result yet for the new MGP3O. Although hopes of a podium finish were dashed again, the Mahindra pit was all smiles after the two riders showed speed and reliability, moving the team tantalisingly close to second in the Constructors Championship -- just three points away.
The first race of the day at the short and tortuous 3.67 km circuit took place in dry conditions.
Oliveira was on the front row of the grid for the fourth time this year but made a poor start, finishing the first lap eighth. Vázquez was right behind him, with a flying start from the third row of the grid.
As the usual top trio of Spaniards moved clear ahead, Vázquez passed his teammate and the pair started to pick up positions. By mid-point of the 27-lap race Oliveira was ahead once again, with the Mahindras in a four-bike battle for fourth.
Oliveira took the position with three laps to go and held off a challenging Alex Marquez. Vázquez was on the Spaniard’s back wheel but just unable to find a way past. Oliveira finished 4.98 seconds behind winner Alex Rins while Vázquez less than half-a-second behind him.
"I lost concentration at the start and did not get away well, losing time with some suspension chatter problems. I found a way to fix it by changing my style a little but by then it was already very complicated. I concentrated on saving the tyres and finishing the race," said Oliveira.
Teammate Vazquez said: “It was a difficult race with the tyre grip going down. But the Mahindra was really good round the series of left-hand corners in the first part of the lap and I could push hard there. Unfortunately Marquez was faster on the second part of the lap, so although I tried my best I couldn’t overtake on the last lap. These points are valuable. We are not on the podium yet but we are getting better all the time.”
The Moto3 class now has a summer break with the next race at Indianapolis Aug 18.