Mahindra riders make top-15 finish in Czech Moto GP

August 14th, 2011 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Brno (Cezch Republic), Aug 14 (IANS) India’s Mahindra Racing bikers made top-15 finishes for the second time in the season, with Danny Webb at 12th place and Marcel Schrotter at 14th at the Berno Moto GP here Sunday.

The 20-year-old Webb, an Englishman, made rapid progress in the last two places to gain two places while German rider Schrotter gained one place to finish 14th.

The Indian team - the only one on the grid to make its own engine and chassis - was cock-a-hoop, after problems in qualifying had left the riders languishing near the back of the grid, in 22nd and 23rd positions.

Hard work overnight had solved small niggles with the engine, while the riders’ efforts off the grid put them back into points-scoring positions. They finished the first of 19 laps of the 5.403 km circuit lying 15th and 16th.

Schrotter moved past Webb, then dropped back of the group with gear-changing issues. At the end he found a way round the problem to close right up once more.

Team principal Mufaddal Choonia congratulated the riders.

“Considering the depressing starting position, I am very happy that both riders capitalised at the start. A double points finish is very pleasing. I hope we can improve on it at Indianapolis,” he said in a statement.

“Improving results are something for all of us to take encouragement from, and I’d like to also wish all our Indian countrymen a happy Independence Day tomorrow,” he added.

Webb said that he never felt any fitness issues despite making a comeback from a shoulder injury.

“My start was good, the engine was going well, and we managed to fix our chassis difficulties also. In the last four laps I was struggling with rear grip and lost some places, but I managed to up my pace and get them back. Both of us in the points … it’s mega,” he said.

Schrotter said that considering the starting position, 23rd, the finish was not so bad.

“The possibilities would have been even better from higher on the grid. My start was good, and the first few laps, and the engine was strong. In the middle of the race, there was a little problem with my quick-shift gearchange, so I was losing a little time every shift. But I could make it up in the corners, and I pushed really hard in the closing laps,” he said.

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