Mahindra assess customer squad policy
Hahindra has had a challenging start to 2015 with Francessco Bagnaia tenth in the standings their leading rider. This year the team took a very different approach to racing and instead of running a factory squad they have now taken to solely operating with customer squads. Aspar is their leading team and with Bagnaia claiming a podium in France.
Mahindra Racing CEO, Mufaddal Choonia, offered his assessment of the campaign so far:
"I think the biggest change we have made since the start of the season is in the set up," said Choonia. "It is very difficult to make major changes to the bike now, considering the regulations, but we have been trying to tweak a few things in the engine as well. This is the first year where we are working with our new factory team, Mapfre Team Mahindra. For any new team to get used to a particular bike it takes a little bit of time, but I believe the team is now very well acquainted with the package. We have also made some changes to the engine mapping strategy during the season and we have been working a lot on the exhaust system, trying out different combinations."
The second half of the year sees the teams start with Indianapolis before returning to Europe and the fly away circuits. Moto3 is incredibly competitive this year and the Indian manufacturer has to compete with Honda and KTM who are battling for the title.
"The motorcycles of all the manufacturers are very similar in performance," offered Chonnia. "There are some circuits where a particular brand tends to show better performance than another, but it’s very difficult to single out a particular circuit, or a few circuits, where a particular bike has an edge over another. I think now it is largely the skill of the rider and the team to set up the bike in a way in which the rider can really extract the maximum performance out of the package. So I really cannot say that there are any circuits where we will have a distinct advantage. That said, we do have some interesting circuits coming up where we have had good results in the past. These include Motegi and at Sepang and I believe generally the Mahindra racer is now mature enough to hold its own at most circuits around the world."