Coming into the Indian GP, Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Jorge Martin (Prima Primac Racing), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) are the ones to watch out for as they are the top-four riders in the 2023 MotoGP championship.
Incidentally, all four riders have an Indian connection as well, having been part of Mahindra Racing in the junior category, where they even got their first podiums in world championships at the Moto3 level.
The Indian automaker competed in the Moto3 class from 2011 to 2017, initially as a factory team till 2014, before becoming an independent constructor supplying bikes to a few teams.
“If you consider most riders who move from Mahindra have done incredible things in MotoGP, be it winning the championship or finishing runner-up,” said reigning champion Bagnaia on his association with the Indian company.
“It was a great school because the level of the bike was great. I am very proud to have been part of the Mahindra family. I always say it was the best Moto3 team I had to improve myself,” added the Italian.
Martin, a teammate with Bagnaia in Mahindra, added, “Though the engine was a bit low on power, it meant you had to do much more than the rest to be at the same level. So when you arrive at a high level, you are more competitive.”
Bezzecchi said, “Without them and the academy (VR46 Academy, run by seven-time champion Valentino Rossi), it was probably difficult for me to enter the world championship. It was fantastic to be part of the Mahindra family. I learnt a lot to be more precise and consistent and took the last podium for the team.”
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