Qatar Moto3: Bagnaia puts Aspar Mahindra on podium

Aspar rider Francesco Bagnaia took a surprise podium in the Qatar Grand Prix for constructors' Mahindra in the 2016 season opener.

The Italian rider was involved in a big battle with eventual winner Niccolo Antonelli (Honda), second placed Brad Binder (KTM), making it an all three different manufacturers on the podium.

Fighting all through the 18-lap race, Bagnaia moved from second to sixth but took third on the last lap when fourth placed Romano Fenati (KTM) went wide on Turn 1.

The Aspar rider then held on to the position keeping Fenati at bay, finishing 0.148s off Antonelli, giving Mahindra's an unlikely podium.

This is the Indian marquee's fifth podium since entering into Moto3 in 2014 and Bagnaia's second with the manufacturer. 

It wasn't a great finish for teammate Jorge Martin who was running 18th at Losail circuit but retired with one lap to go, leaving Platinum Bay's Darryn Binder, the second highest Mahindra at 23rd.

The Peugeot branded MGP03's Alexis Masbou finished 24th with his British teammate John McPhee at 25th.

McPhee was followed by the rest of the Mahindra riders with Tatsuki Suzuki (CIP) at 26th, rookie Stefano Valtulini (Team Italia) 27th, the other Platinum Bay of Karel Hanika 30th.

The last two spots were completed by Team Italia's Lorenzo Petrarca at 31st and CIP's Fabio Spiranelli 32nd.

RiderTeamGap (From leader)
 Jorge Martin Aspar Mahindra DNF
 Francesco Bagnaia Aspar Mahindra  0.148s
 Darryn Binder Platinum Bay  31.939s
 Karel Hanika Platinum Bay  59.105s
 John McPhee Peugeot SaxoPrint  32.547s
 Alexis Masbou Peugeot SaxoPrint  31.949s
 Stefano Valtulini Team Italia  34.584s
 Lorenzo Petrarca Team Italia  59.109s
 Fabio Spiranelli CIP  1:34.948s
 Tatsuki Suzuki CIP 32.812s

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About this article
Series Moto3
Event Losail
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Tatsuki Suzuki , Francesco Bagnaia , Jorge Martin , Darryn Binder , Karel Hanika , Alexis Masbou , John McPhee , Livio Selva , Fabio Spiranelli , Stefano Valtulini
Teams Aspar Racing Team , CIP , Saxoprint RTG , Team Italia FMI
Article type Race report