Mahindra Racing riders Danny Webb and Marcel Schrötter recorded the debutant team’s best ever double point’s result of the season in today’s 125cc Australian Grand Prix. The pair finished tenth and 11th respectively in difficult conditions that ultimately brought the race to a premature end. Webb’s finish strengthened the team’s third place in the manufacturers’ championship with only two rounds remaining.
The 16th Grand Prix of the season was a lottery from the start. The always unpredictable ‘Island’ weather was in full bloom with rain delaying the start, forcing the Mahindra riders to decide on the grid whether to use rain or slick tires, a decision that would prove crucial. Attendant to that were suspension settings; a wet race would mean softer settings, which would accelerate tire wear.
The race was started on a wet track, with most of the field on slicks. Webb used his vast rain experience to jet from 19th on the grid to seventh in the early stages, with Schrötter coming with him and passing his teammate on the sixth of 20 laps, by which time the sun was shining and the track was drying quickly.
The team-mates were briefly separated before finding each other again on the ninth lap, Schrötter in eighth, Webb ninth. They stayed together to the end, passing and re-passing each other, the silver and red Mahindras shining brightly in the sun. The more experienced Danny Webb finally took control on the penultimate lap. Unfortunately, with both riders on the softer rear tire and with softer suspension, they were denied a double top-ten on the final lap when they succumbed to the pressure of another rider.
“I am happy because yesterday we were 19th and 20th and today 10th and 11th, so not so bad” said team manager Nicola Casadei. “The conditions were difficult and they were very fast at the start. But we need to work on consistency because we’re capable of top ten finishes every race.”
Team Principal Mufaddal Choonia was also pleased with the result: “It is good to see that we continue to make good progress during the final stages of the 125cc era. We were so close to having both guys finish in the top ten and I hope that is something we can do in the final two races to consolidate our third place in the manufacturer’s championship and Marcel’s 15th in the title race. “The next round is the Malaysian GP at Sepang in less than seven days’ time.
DANNY WEBB – 10th Position
“If it had stayed like that we’d have been really quick, but it dried out. It was a good race and I was fighting with Marcel and the people who were coming past me, but I didn’t quite have the rear grip to stay with them. I was getting on the gas and it was sliding a lot. We pulled it off; Marcel was 11th as well, so it’s a good result and I hope Mahindra are happy with that.”
MARCEL SCHRÖTTER – 11th Position
“Nearly all the riders used slicks, so at the beginning it was very difficult because the first sector was…