Fifth place for Mahindra Racing in Moto3
Oliveira secures 5th place at the COTA in a tense two-half race
After making their presence felt in the opening Moto3 race of the season in Qatar, Mahindra Racing went two better at a tense two-part race at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas, with Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira claiming a fifth place finish.
The 18-year-old rider galloped his way to a victory in a hectic two-part race that had been red-flagged earlier after a crash.
Efrén Vázquez, Oliveira's Spanish teammate too contributed to the team’s efforts by securing two points, finishing 14th.
Starting from the 18th position, Oliveira's sprint came about after the planned 18-lapper was red-flagged before the required distance had been completed. Positions counted only for grid places in the restart, over just five laps - which meant that Oliveira restarted from the 8th position, only to swoop onto 5th place in the dying stages of the race.
After the race ended, Oliveira said, "I am very happy – it’s very positive for Mahindra, and very satisfying because we were struggling to get the perfect set-up. For the race I changed my riding style a lot, and felt much more comfortable. In the first race I was getting faster and faster, and in a really exciting battle for fifth. In the restart I just attacked. The project is new and we still need more time to work on the chassis. We can only get better, and I think we can be competitive at Jerez."
It's only been two races, but Mahindra Racing have promised much. Can they secure a podium spot in Jerez?