Mahindra's Danny Webb couldn't hide his disappointment after finishing just outside the points in the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.
The 20-year-old was embroiled in a race long battle with Niklas Ajo and Harry Stafford but was denied the final point for 15th by fellow Brit Danny Kent on the penultimate lap.
Webb felt the lack of long run pace on the GP 125 machine ultimately cost him, but is confident the team can overcome those problems when they test at the Portuguese track later this week.
“I'm gutted to just miss out on that point”, he said. “The race was like Qatar. Everything was working in the first half, but when the tyres went down and lost grip, I was struggling. I saw the gap coming down from the rider behind me, and I tried my best, but when he came past I could see that he had much better grip out of the corners, where I was just bouncing around. We're not too far off, but we need to work on longer runs to be more competitive at the end. I hope we can get it sorted at the test.”
Despite Webb's disappointment, the Indian team achieved their best double result since their introduction to the 125cc World Championship after Marcel Schrotter finished 18th.
The German made up nine places from his lowly grid position to finish two places behind his teammate. Despite his recovery, Schrotter still felt he could have been even higher.
“I can't say I'm happy, but it's a lot better than my qualifying. Today we made a big step, almost two seconds faster from practice to the race. I got a good start, and then I was battling with another rider. His bike was a bit quicker but I was faster in the corners. But we came to a slow rider, who moved out of the way for him then cut back on the racing line in front of me, so I lost touch.”
The 18-year-old was also riding in pain in the closing stages of the race, and was forced to ease off at the end.
“My biggest problem was my left leg. I hurt it before the season, and it has been okay until now … but today I had big pain in the last laps, and I was having trouble downshifting, and running wide in a lot of corners.”
Team manager Nicola Casadei believes the Indian outfit has potential to regularly challenge for points, and hopes this week's test will reap rewards at the next round in France.
“I believe in my riders, and the engine is fast. Now we must look at the data to understand why we had some suspension problems today that weren't present yesterday. We have a full day of testing, with some new engine parts as well as the new rear shock absorber, and I am sure we will make the next step after that.”