Assen: Italian teenager Pecco Bagnaia made history by claiming not only his first win in the MotoGP World Championships but also the first win for the Mahindra Moto3 team in the Dutch MotoGP race here on Sunday.
The 19-year-old’s triumph came after one of the fiercest races so far seen in the most competitive class in the MotoGP World Championships.
The top three crossed the line within four hundredths of a second; the top six inside two tenths at the classic 4.542-km Assen TT circuit.
Bagnaia had qualified tenth, on the fourth row of the grid, but he put his white-liveried Aspar Mahindra racer at the sharp end throughout. After 99.924 km of the fiercest fighting, the 19-year-old star was ready to claim a virtual photo-finish win.
Victory came after the best season so far for the Mahindra MGP3O racing motorcycle. Bagnaia had already claimed three top-three podium places.
This first race win halfway through the 2016 season was proof positive of Mahindra Racing’s hard-won progress, and the perfect reward for tireless work at the Indian company’s state-of-the-art racing bike development and engineering facility in Italy.
Victory moved Bagnaia up to fourth in the championship, just four points away from third.
Second team rider Jorge Martin withdrew on the first day, with his hand injuries sustained three weeks ago at the Catalunya GP not sufficiently healed to allow a safe race. His place was taken by fellow-Spaniard Alberto Arenas (19).
The next race is the German GP at the Sachsenring in three weeks.