Fresh from a best-ever result in the opening round at Qatar, the all-new Mahindra MGP3O went two better at a tense two-part race at the Circuit of The Americas in Texas, when Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira claimed a fifth-place finish on Sunday.

The 18-year-old rider gained two places in a fighting last lap of a hectic five-lap sprint after the race was red-flagged earlier after a crash.

Team-mate Efren Vazquez, 26, of Spain added to the Mahindra team’s celebrations by claiming two points, finishing 14th.

The sprint race came about after the planned 18-lapper was red-flagged before the required two-thirds distance had been completed. Positions counted only for grid places in the restart, over just five laps of the fine new 5.5-km circuit outside the Texas state capital of Austin.

Oliveira had already improved by pulling through to eighth from 18th on the grid. His race was a thriller, as he forced his way through a packed riders battling for fifth. In the end he swooped through to lead them all.

“I just attacked,” he explained.

The all-independent new Mahindra MGP3O has made its mark on the competitive Moto3 class in just two races, six months after it first took to the drawing board. In Qatar the white-and-red racers were seventh and tenth.

Now the squad is looking forward to the Spanish GP at Jerez in two weeks, where the twisty circuit promises much.

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