Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSSP rider Lucas Mahias battled hard at his home round and in a shortened 12-lap race he was rewarded with a race win for the first time as a Kawasaki rider. Hikari Okubo was also well in the hunt for a podium and finished fifth, just 2.166 seconds behind his team-mate Mahias. Pole man Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was ninth in the race and won the FIM Europe Supersport Cup today. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was third in a thrilling race at the 4.411km long circuit in France.
The WorldSSP race at Magny Cours was
eventually run over 12 laps after a red flag stopped the first attempted
running after three riders fell in the very early stages, in the same
In the final re-start Mahias contested the lead and finally took it on lap eight. He lost it to eventual runner-up Isaac Vinales on the penultimate lap, but took it again in a thrilling final sector of the track, defending his line into the last chicane and emerging the winner by 0.264 seconds.
Okubo was a fine fifth, and very close to what would have been his first WorldSSP podium finish. He had been part of the big original leading group and ended up over a second clear of the rider in sixth place.
After ten of 12 rounds, Lucas is still fourth overall with 123 championship points, Hikari is fifth with 93 points.
The WorldSSP championship riders now relocate to Argentina, for the penultimate race on Sunday 13th of October.
Lucas Mahias stated: “There were a lot of questions for us at the beginning of the year but I worked a lot to understand the bike and finally I have come back to the first position. It is very nice to win in front of the people from my own country and it was especially good because this is my first time to win a race in France. It has been a perfect weekend for me, and the team.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today was a better day because I pushed hard and tried to get to the podium. I didn’t this round because I got a new small problem, and my riding style is limited to the top five, not the podium. I need another step from myself and need to do more thinking on my bike and have more control. There were two Kawasakis on the podium today so I need more training, sure, and more thinking. I will try to get a podium in the final two rounds.”
Ayrton Badovini had his best race of the year and took a dry weather podium of third place, and an overall tenth place in the championship standings. Kyle Smith was in the leading group but eventually finished ninth today, winning the FIM Europe Supersport Cup in the process. In the combined championship rankings, he is 16th.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) were unable to restart after the red flag and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) retired from the race. In the championship van Straalen is 20th and Hartog 21st.
Kyle Smith, stated: “It has been a real difficult season at times, to be honest, and everything was set-up relatively late. But with Team Pedercini – here we are – European champions. It has been a long season and we have had some bad luck but we have made it in the end! We will be wild carding in Argentina and Qatar at the end of this season and we will carry on working there.”