Round 2 of the CIV Moto3 double race weekend concluded yesterday at Mugello’s Autodromo Internazionale and presented the Mahindra Racing Team with several moments of pride.
Rider Andrea Locatelli finished with a twin podium finish. While he won the first race, he finished the second race in third position. Michael Rinaldi finished eighth in the first encounter and a respectable sixth in the second. Both riders are confident of doing increasingly well in forthcoming rounds of the prestigious CIV Moto3.
In the first race, the Team was on pole position with Andrea Locatelli, while Michael Rinaldi obtained the 8th grid slot. It was a front and third row start at the 13-lap race for the two talented riders. Locatelli moved off well from the grid and got to the front, followed closely by a six-rider pack.
Rinaldi got off to a good start too and crossed the line in 7th place at the end of the first few laps. It was a very challenging race with a three-way battle for the win with the pole position constantly changing between Locatelli, Valtulini and Marini. As the race progressed Rinaldi lost a bit of ground and was 10th while the trio of front-runners pulled a big gap between themselves and the rest of the field.
During the last lap, Locatelli managed to get a small margin over his opponents and finished the race with a fantastic victory. Rinaldi was able to recover some positions, ending up 8th at the chequered flag. It was a memorable day for Locatelli and Team Mahindra Racing, who scored both pole position and a race win.
After the first day’s pole position and victory, all expectations were on the Mahindra rider for a repeat performance, while teammate Rinaldi was eager to better his first race 8th place finish.
Locatelli moved off from the top spot and Rinaldi from the 8th. A ten-rider battle for the win made this a thrilling one. Both Mahindra Racing riders were in contention for first place as they lapped constantly within the top positions. The race was characterised by continuous overtaking manoeuvres, but in the final part Rinaldi lost touch with the front-runners and ended up 6th.
Locatelli fought hard for the double win, crossing the line in 3rd place with just a tenth of a second gap from 2nd place Coletti. It’s was a positive day for Mahindra Racing, which completes the first race weekend with a victory, a 3rd place finish and a pole position.
Commenting on his performance, Andrea Locatelli said, “First of all I’d like to thank Team Mahindra for the great opportunity to race in the CIV with them. Both races were intense and hard fought. In the first race, I gave everything I had on the first lap and got a little margin that proved to be enough for the win. The second race was much more difficult compared to the first. There were ten riders battling for the win and it was a brawl for all 13 laps. Weather conditions were different so we had to adjust the set-up a bit. The team did a fantastic job on it. I got on the podium again and I know this is very important for the team and me. I leave Mugello with first place in the standings, knowing that I can challenge for the title. I want to thank the team for the amazing job done here at Mugello”.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi said, “As Andrea Locatelli’s performance demonstrated, the bike has great potential. I would like to thank the team for the outstanding job they have done. As far as my bike is concerned, we sorted out the issues that limited our performance yesterday. I got a very good start and battled at the front. Unfortunately, towards the end of the race I lost some ground from the leading pack. I’m happy though, because in the second race, we were much faster than the first. These two races have been a sort of test for me, really, and we’ve managed to improve. I’m confident for the next races and want to challenge for the win”.
The next CIV Moto3 round will take place at Vallelunga from May 24 to 26.