Czech Republic, August 17, 2014: Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira finished seventh in today’s Czech Republic GP, holding his own in an exciting and sometimes brutal battle for one of the closest ever Moto3™ finishes – the top 10 riders crossed the line within a fraction of a second of each other, with overtaking moves right up until the end.
The Portuguese teenager was just 0.356 of a second behind race winner Alexis Masbou (Honda), after 19 laps of the sweeping Brno circuit. The lead group was still 16-strong at the finish, with the last rider in the pack less than two seconds from the winner, but out of the points.
Oliveira had qualified a season-best fifth, and was never below eighth and more often sixth. However, with places changing hands on almost every corner of the 5.4-km track, final positions were something of a lottery.
He crossed the line almost alongside South African Brad Binder, riding the Ambrogio Racing customer Mahindra, who took sixth, putting two of the MGP3O machines in the top 10. Mahindra is the only Indian manufacturer in World Championship racing.
Second Mahindra Racing rider Arthur Sissis finished 26th in his final race for the team. While Oliveira has posted a series of strong and improving results, the Australian has struggled to adapt the style that gained him a top-three finish in the past to suit the MGP3O.
Mahindra Racing today announced that rising Italian star Andrea Migno will replace Sissis until the end of the season. Migno (18), a graduate of the VR46 Riders’ Academy, has earned his chance with strong performances in the Spanish CEV championship.
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing said after the race, “That was one of the most hotly contested Moto3 races I’ve ever seen, and this is what people pay money to come and see. I’m so happy to see Mahindra consistently able to fight with the other manufacturers. It proves the growing strength of our MGP3O machine. I feel a little sorry for Miguel and Brad: at one point I thought we might see two Mahindras on the podium. I also take the opportunity to say goodbye to Arthur, to thank him for his contribution, and to welcome Andrea Migno for Silverstone. I am looking forward to more exciting racing.”
The next race is the British GP at Silverstone in two weeks.
Oliveira had this to say after the race:
“That was a really hard race. I got a good start, but it was very hard to keep near the front of a very big group, 16 or 17 riders, and there was a bit of luck involved in the results, with the order very unpredictable. I’m happy because finally we achieved a good qualifying position and rode a constant race to be there all the time. There was a lot of bumping, especially with Jack Miller, but races are like this sometimes. I hope to come back as strong for the next race, and the rest of the season.