Danny Webb admitted that 18th place in the Qatar Grand Prix was better than he'd expected after a difficult weekend. The Mahindra rider started 25th and fell even further back after an awful start but stayed out of trouble to finish just outside the points, giving him cause for optimism looking forward.
“That was better than I expected after struggling in qualifying. The bike didn't miss a beat. I got off the line badly, stone last – but I found my rhythm and focused on passing the people ahead, and staying there. We had to grin and bear it this weekend. The engine rules meant we couldn't do much to improve the engine. We're at the beginning of development. For sure we can come to the pace up front.”
Teammate Marcel Schrotter also showed promising pace before a gear selection problem curtailed his evening. The German was also surprised to be so quick but feels encouraged by the performance of the Oral-powered bike.
“I didn't expect that – I was struggling in practice but we made a step in warm-up and another step for the race and it closed a big gap to the fastest bikes. I was up to 18th and closing on the group in front, from tenth to 16th places, and I was closing. But a problem changing gear meant I had to pull in.”
Team CEO Mufaddal Choonia feels the Indian squad is progressing all the time and expects them to be even quicker at the next race in Spain.
“A lot of positives came out of today's race. We made some improvements to engine mapping that really boosted the performance of the engine. Sadly we were far back on the grid, so Danny's finish was good. Marcel was having a good race and maybe looking at the top ten, but a minor glitch that forced him to retire. Hopefully we'll be back with a much better performance in Jerez.”