Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 13th in the WorldSSP race at Brno today but his team-mate Sheridan Morais was unlucky to crash as he tried to pass another rider, ending his race on lap six of 16.
On a dry and warm raceday Morais looked set for a top six finish at least, as he felt he had the race pace to challenge right at the 5.403km Brno circuit.
Starting from the third row he was unfortunate to lose the front as he tried to overtake another rider, in order to get free to make his challenge towards the front group of riders.
Okubo, knowing that he had to score points today, kept a cool head and finished up taking three points away for 13th position. A new rider to Brno on Friday, he could not find the same level of full race pace as he had found to qualify 12th in Superpole.
Morais is still 15th in the overall championship standings and Okubo is now 18th after seven of 12 rounds.
The WorldSSP riders will not race at the Laguna Seca WorldSBK weekend but will return to action at Misano, in Italy, between the 6th and the 8th of July.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “It has been a very difficult race week. On Friday I had a very bad position in Free Practice but in Superpole we improved to 12th, but I could not find a good race set-up. Over one lap was no problem but for race pace it was not the same. If I pushed hard maybe I would crash again. I am not happy with my finishing position but it was important to get some championship points. I am not giving up and I like the track at the next round in Misano, so I need to push hard there.”
Sheridan Morais stated: “I just lost the front. We had really good race pace but I was trying to get past Gradinger. His bike is really fast, and I had to risk it like I did to try and get past him, and I crashed. It is a pity because we had the race pace to be at the front, not only for the podium, but to fight to the guys out front.”
Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) was the best placed Kawasaki rider in the race today, in seventh. The Aussie rider is now eighth in the championship fight, just four points behind the seventh placed rider.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer) was 11th, and second in the ESS class-within-a-class race. He still leads the overall ESS rankings by 13 points. Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) was 20th today, with Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) just one place behind.
Luigi Morciano (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 22nd at Brno, Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) 23rd.