It may have been secured thanks to a slight technicality, but Sarath Kumar's third place finish for Mahindra Racing at Monza in the third round of the CIV-Italian Championship for 125cc motorcycles will still go down as a historic achievement by an Indian racing competitor.
Kumar finished the race in fourth place, but was promoted to a podium-finishing position after Andrea Mantovani was disqualified from third due to engine irregularities. The resulting podium position is the first by an Indian rider at the international level. At the previous round at Imola, Kumar recorded his first points scoring finish with seventh place.
The podium finish takes Kumar into the top-five of the championship standings with 22 points. Kumar's Mahindra Racing teammate Ricardo Morreti lies second in the standings with 50 points despite retiring early from the race.
Commenting on his position today, Sarath Kumar said, "A podium finish at the Italian Championship is a dream come true for me! I got off to a good start and was able to recover a lot of positions up to the 14th place. It was my first time in Monza, a circuit I am quickly getting accustomed to - it's a really fast one! I want to thank all my technical staff, my manager and team Mahindra for their support."
"All of us at Mahindra Racing are absolutely delighted with Sarath's achievement!" said Mahindra Racing COO Mufaddal Choonia. "We have had a good start to the season with our first two wins and are pleased with his progress."