Courtesy of Yamaha Racing
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are in South America at the all-new Circuito San Juan Villicum this weekend, for the first ever FIM World Supersport race in Argentina. Federico Caricasulo heads across the South Atlantic determined to make amends for Magny-Cours, where a crash on the final lap of the race saw the Italian pick up only three points and drop to fourth place in the championship standings. Lucas Mahias enjoyed a more successful race in front of his home crowd at Magny-Cours, overcoming an injury to finish on the podium, a feat he has every intention of repeating this weekend in Argentina.
Mahias, now fully recovered from the injury sustained in a warm-up crash on Sunday morning in Magny-Cours, is looking forward to racing at the 4.276km El Villicum circuit for the first time, and without the added pressure of performing in front of his fellow countrymen.
The Frenchman is out of the running for the title fight, but is determined to see out his time as the reigning World Supersport Champion with two strong results in the final two races of the season, with another race win his clear target in Argentina.
Mathematically it is still possible for Caricasulo to be crowned as the 2018 World Supersport Champion, but with a 37-point deficit to current series leader Sandro Cortese with just two races remaining, it’s an outside chance at best.
Like his GRT Yamaha teammate, Caricasulo’s focus this weekend in Argentina is on the race win rather than the championship. The Italian has already racked up five podium finishes this season, including wins in Misano and Portimão, and heads into the Argentina weekend determined to increase his victory tally.
The 4.276 Circuito San Juan Villicum is located on the outskirts of Albardón and is comprised of 11 left and 8 right hand corners, which are tackled in an anticlockwise direction. The circuit is adjacent to the world renowned Route 40, which runs alongside the Andes mountain range for 5,000km and connects the north of Argentina to the south.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 6th – 119 Points
“The ankle injury is improving everyday, so I’ll be back to full fitness for the Argentina race. I’m excited about the weekend ahead; it’s a new track, a new country and my first ever visit to South America. It promises to be a busy weekend, as we learn the track and work to find a good set-up on the bike, but I’m looking forward to it. It will be good to race without the pressure of performing in front of my home crowd this weekend, but the aim remains the same; to finish on the podium once again and hopefully, be able to challenge for the win.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 4th – 132 Points
“I’m looking forward to getting back on track in Argentina after the disappointment of the Magny-Cours race. I want to be back on the top here this weekend and I think this is the perfect place to do it. It’s a new track for everybody, so there is some learning and set-up work to be done, but we’ve been fast from the first day at every race so far this season and I’m confident we can do the same here in Argentina. The goal is to be at the front of the race on Sunday, challenging for the win once again.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
“We go into this weekend’s race in Argentina with Federico now 37 points behind the championship leader with only two races to go, so the target is very clear; we need to win here and in the final race in Qatar. We can do no more than this, and while it may not be enough to put us back in the title battle, we intend to go on fighting right until the end. Argentina is a new track for everyone, but Federico and Lucas have been fast at every circuit and in all conditions this season. I’m confident that the same will be true here, especially as it’s a very technical track where experience will count for a lot. The team is strong, our package from Yamaha has proved competitive every weekend and now our position and strategy is very clear. I expect to see some exciting racing this weekend, with both of our riders at the forefront.”