Mahindra Racing showed strong progress at the final pre-season test for the 125cc MotoGP World Championship season with riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrötter at Jerez on March 4-6.
The Mahindra Group is the first Indian motorcycle manufacturer to enter a team into the prestigious FIM MotoGP Road Racing World Championship and both riders were riding full liveried silver and red Mahindra GP125s for the first time.
The team were able to verify that good progress has been made with the engine delivering strong and tractable power, whilst identifying other areas for development on the bike to propel it to the front of the grid.
Despite a predominantly wet first day at the test, held on the 4.4km Jerez circuit, significant mileage was covered in the dry weather of the second two days. Rider Danny Webb outlined his intent by going out early in each session to put the Mahindra name at the top of the timing monitors, before their more experienced rivals laid down faster times showing the level of competition which Mahindra faces in this tough battleground.
"The team sent me a picture with Danny’s time at the top of the monitors and I was very excited," said Team Principal Mufaddal Choonia, "and even though we were not the quickest at the end of the test I know that good progress has been made, and the team is working systemically on improvements to draw us nearer to our quickest rivals. I can’t wait for our debut in Qatar."
Fastest of Mahindra’s two riders over the three-day test was Danny Webb.
Danny Webb (Mahindra 125cc GP) says: "We’ve definitely taken a step forwards," comments the 19 year-old Brit. "On Friday we didn’t get much running because of the weather, and on Saturday we suffered from a few electrical gremlins, but I’m satisfied that there’s more speed to come from the bike, and I’ve a fair idea where that speed can be found."
Marcel Schrötter had an early off on the first day which hindered his progress at the test.
Marcel Schrötter (Mahindra 125cc GP) says: "My fall was not too bad but I was not able to push as hard as I would otherwise. "I tried to concentrate on developing the set-up of the bike and developing my confidence with it and everything is pointing in the right direction to continue improving."
The team ran through a programme to evaluate new components. "Jerez is a good testing ground as it’s a punishing circuit and our previous knowledge here gives good basis for evaluation," said team manager, Nicola Casadei.
"We tested a new carburettor on Danny’s bike and initial impressions are good, so we will now analyse the data to see if we will have it on both bikes for Qatar. We could do with more time to test, but we will just keep improving through the season."
The team’s bikes will now be freighted direct from Jerez to Qatar where Mahindra will make their race debut on the world stage on March 17-20 at the Losail International Circuit for the first round of the 125cc MotoGP World Championship.