Moto3: Mahindra's Dalla Porta gets Top 10 result in rain-affected Australia race
Aspar's Lorenzo dalla Porta overcame Lap 1 troubles to record his best result in the 2017 Moto3 season in a rain-affected race at Phillip Island.
The Italian lost seven places in the opening lap, which saw him drop to 21st before he made progress in the truncated 15-lap race.
He moved himself into the Top 15 by Lap 5 and made further run-in to be in the Top 10 by Lap 9, before getting in a battle with Adam Norrodin and Tatsuki Suzuki.
The Italian got the better of Suzuki initially, but the Japanese regained the position to eventually finish in 10th and score six valuable points for Mahindra.
"It was a very nice race. It's a shame that the start and the first lap were a little bit bad, because with the wet asphalt I couldn’t push too hard," said dalla Porta.
"I lost many positions, but I had a good pace and that allowed me to recover. I was in the lead group, but another rider crashed in front of me and that separated me from my target.
"Without a slipstream I found things a little harder, but today I felt strong in the corners –although other riders escaped from me on the straights. I’m happy with the result; I fought hard and it has been a positive race."
Peugeot's Jakub Kornfeil was next in 12th to score points, with the Czech rider fighting his way up from 18th - being in a stiff battle with dalla Porta and Nicolo Bulega.
"This weekend was really crazy, weather wise. This is the fastest track in the championship and when it is dry it is really fun to ride," said Kornfeil.
"I lost some positions at first even though my start was really good but then I just told myself I have to fight and give the best I can. The first three laps were very hard but I felt confident on the bike so just tried to gain as much positions as possible.
"I really have to say thanks to my team because they did a very good job this weekend. This is the second time we scored points so we can't complain about the oversea tour right now."
The last point scorer was CIP's Manuel Pagliani. The Italian lost chunk of places after starting from seventh on the grid, while tussling with Andrea Migno for 14th.
Aspar's new recruit Maria Herrera was the last Mahindra finisher to be 19th on her debut on the MG3PO machinery. "The start was good, but on the first few laps I struggled slightly," she said.
"It’s annoying because I did well after that and if I was in the group I would have been more comfortable. In any case, this weekend I learned a lot about this bike and now we are going to continue working in Malaysia."
The two non-finishers were CIP's Marco Bezzecchi, who was running as high as fourth at one stage when he crashed out on Lap 7, while Peugeot's Patrik Pulkkinen was out on Lap 9.
The race was won by Joan Mir, who also clinched the 2017 Moto3 title, with Livio Loi making it a Leopard 1-2, while Jorge Martin completed the Top 3.
More points for Mahindra meant it has now 42 in its kitty heading to the Malaysian Grand Prix, while Peugeot has 20 to its name.