Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
The 12th and final 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship round of the season started on Thursday but in today’s Tissot-Superpole session Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mates Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo placed themselves fifth and sixth.
Mahias, a proven winner at this floodlit
venue more than once, was up to second in Superpole until he was
sanctioned for – only just – exceeding the track limits on his fastest
As Lucas was still competitive with his other earlier lap times, even after having his final attempt at improving his position spoiled by finding slower riders in his path, he still qualified top Kawasaki rider, in fifth place.
Mahias is confident of his race pace and now goes all out to win for the second time in his ‘rookie’ Kawasaki season, having scored full points at the Magny Cours round in September.
Hikari recovered from a tough opening day to finish Superpole in sixth place, launching from the second row of the starting grid alongside his team-mate Mahias.
The main ambition on raceday for Okubo is to record his first podium finish in WorldSSP and he feels positive about his chances in what will be a 15-lap contest tomorrow, Saturday 26th October.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “My tyre was on the green part of the track, just a little bit, so I could not use my best lap time. I could have been second but I am fifth, even though my wheel was not completely on the green section. OK, I took the sanction, but then I had two slow riders in front of me on my second qualifying lap, so I will start fifth. The positive is that all of the elements are in a strong position for tomorrow and I think I have a good rhythm to win. I do not play with the championship fight so I will try only to win the race.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today in qualifying it was not bad but I am not completely happy because I aimed for a front row start. I am in sixth position so I am on the second row. It is an important grid position for the race because there is a big chance to score the first podium of my career. My feeling on the bike is good and I tried to do some race laps in yesterday’s free practice, so I know when the tyres drop and how the bike feels. I am very positive that I can do it tomorrow in the race.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was the next Kawasaki rider home in Superpole behind the official pairing of Mahias and Okubo, in seventh position, after a strong showing on both opening days of action.
FIM Europe Supersport Cup winner Kyle Smith was ninth in qualifying and in doing so proved the prowess of not only himself but the middleweight Ninja at this fast and largely flowing circuit.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 16th on the grid, for a sixth row start, while and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 22nd today and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 23rd.