After experiencing a satisfactory year in 125cc competition in the Grand Prix of motorcycle racing, Mahindra has decided to groom Indian rider Sarath Kumar for the future.

Sarath had represented Aprilia in three races in the 125cc World championship last season. Mahindra, which finished third in the constructor's championship, spotted the talented racer and made up its mind to back him wholeheartedly.

However, Mahindra wanted to go step by step with Sarath and put him alongside Italian Riccardo Moretti for the Italian championship.

“Sarath if groomed well has the potential to represent our country at the World championship level. It would not be right to throw him straight into the world level. If he does not do well, then it would dent his confidence,” said Mahindra Racing team principal Mufaddal A. Choonia here on Friday.

Choonia said the Italian championship, known for its intense competition, would be an ideal platform for the Indian rider to develop his skills. “The goal for him is to win the Italian championship. But I am not going to tell Sarath that I want him to win the championship. He needs to learn, but at a certain stage we want him to win.”

The Mahindra team principal said the presence of former Italian champion Moretti, who had a technical bent of mind, would help Sarath grow.

Sarath was proud of being part of a promising team like Mahindra and expressed confidence about finishing on the podium in the Italian race. “I know something about it (championship) and my team-mate Ricardo is there to help me,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mahindra, which earned its first points in its second race and maiden pole position in its debut year, unveiled its Moto3 challenger MGP3O (a 250cc 4-stroke bike) which would be used this season following the end of the 125cc motorcycle race in 2011.

The team, comprising British rider Danny Webb and German Marcel Schrötter, looked forward to improve upon its performance with the new bike. — Principal Correspondent

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