Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
With both of Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s riders Lucas Mahias and Philipp Öttl already podium finishers in the 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship they have a shared aim at the first ever round to be held at the regular MotoGP circuit of Montmelo in Catalunya – more podium success.
After two full rounds at the familiar Motorland Aragon circuit recently the Montmelo tack will be a new challenge for the WorldSSP class in general, but in Öttl and Mahias Kawasaki has two riders who have experienced the circuit in other forms of racing.
Lucas was last at the circuit in 2012 when riding a Moto2 machine in the CEV Spanish championship. Philipp has more and much more recent experience of the long-time MotoGP circuit, having spent most of his career inside the MotoGP paddock. On their Ninja ZX-6Rs the circuit will offer another form of learning experience for both Mahias and Öttl but one that should present yet more opportunities to display podium capable pace.
Currently Lucas is third in the championship and Philipp fourth, 19 points behind his team-mate after five of the planned eight rounds. With three podiums to his credit so far in 2020 Lucas is ideally looking to take a race win in either of the two 17-lap races at Barcelona this coming weekend.
In his first Kawasaki season in 2019 Lucas recorded two late season victories and he intends to do all he can to repeat that achievement from Montmelo onward. With two races per round this season he has several more opportunities to try.
For Philipp his rookie WorldSSP season has seen him record two podiums already, the first at Jerez and the next at Motorland. On the approach to another regular MotoGP circuit in Spain, he has two imminent opportunities to fight for more top three placings.
After Montmelo there will be two more rounds, at Magny Cours in France and Estoril in Portugal.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “I haven’t ridden at the Barcelona track for many years. The last time was in 2012 when I competed in the CEV Moto2 race. I liked the track back then, but it’ll be very different this time with my Ninja ZX-6R. The track has a long straight and so it will be very important to exploit the engine’s full potential. This year I’ve been on both the second and third steps of the podium, and we’re aiming for the podium again this weekend. Even better if it’s the top step of course.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “I know the Barcelona track as I raced in the Moto3 championship for many years. That was a very different bike to my Kawasaki though, so it’s a bit like heading to a new track, really. We’re at round six already and for now I have to say that I’m pleased with my championship. I’m increasingly comfortable on the bike and with the team. I want to continue along this path again this weekend, aiming for the best possible results.”
WorldSSP300 champion in 2019, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) has impressed many with his rookie season prowess on the Ninja ZX-6R. With a personal best of sixth place so far, the top five at least in his aim for the round in Barcelona. Can Öncü (Turkish Puccetti Racing) will be another ambitious regular rookie on a Kawasaki this coming weekend, with Guillem Erill (Desa-Ismabon Racing Team Kawasaki) a wild card at his home round.