Spanish Race Sees Mahias Seventh And Okubo Eighth2019-04-07 11:43
The 5.077km long Motorland Aragon circuit played host to windy but dry weather for the 16-lap WorldSSP race and the changing conditions would affect some of the competitors in what is the first European round of the 2019 championship.
Seventh on the grid, Mahias was also seventh in the race. The Frenchman was on course for a sixth place but he was passed on the final lap, after a great fight for the main off-podium places with up to four other riders.
Okubo was in the same warring group as Mahias, but found he could not pass the other riders as easily as they could pass him. Despite this he made up one place on the final lap to pick up more championship points for eighth.
With three rounds completed Okubo is fifth overall, on 28 points, with Lucas ninth, on 21 points. Okubo is only three points from the rider in front, Mahias only one point from the rider in eighth place in the rankings.
In only a few days time the championship will enter the fourth round, at the classic circuit of Assen in the Netherlands, with track action to be held between the 12th and the 14th of April.
Lucas Mahias stated: “I am not happy with the result because seventh is not my position, I think. I was World Champion in 2017 and I was second in the championship in 2018 and now I am fighting for the seventh, eighth ninth position. Now the chassis setup is not so bad and I have a good feeling in the corners and on the brakes. For the moment it is impossible to fight at the front. I am happy with my crew and my work in this race because we made no mistakes, but our reality is that this is the base pace of the bike today.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today was a hard day with wind and difficult conditions. I tried to push hard on the first and second laps but my front end feeling was a little bit slow. It was not possible to push harder and overtake, so my group was in the sixth place battle. There were four riders together but my problem was that I could not overtake and the front was giving me warnings if I was not on my best line. So It was difficult to pass. It was a new problem. I was sixth in the two opening rounds and in the sixth place battle at the first European round.”
New ESS signing Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was a strong ninth today, after fighting his way to the group battling for sixth at one stage. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was 16th and just missed a championship point in Spain. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) were non-finishers today. Rookie ESS rider Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) also retired from the race.
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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