UK Round Next For Kawasaki In WorldSSP2023-08-21 09:04
This will be the third time that former Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSBK and WorldSSP rider Mahias has replaced Öncü, having competed at the Catalunya and Misano rounds in May and June, respectively.
A nine-times race winner in WorldSSP, Mahias took four of those wins on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He has been competing on an updated version of the Ninja ZX-6R during this campaign with electronics and other changes to the overall technical package.
WorldSSP has become an even tougher class, with more configurations and models of competitive machinery on track since the advent of the ‘Next Generation’ regulations last season. Despite this tougher backdrop for the traditional 600cc four-cylinders, Öncü made his breakthrough first career race win at Mandalika in March.
Even without the benefit of off-season testing Mahias has recorded more than respectable results so far. He also knows the areas in which he and his technical package can improve even further. He has taken two top ten finishes from four starts this season and will be aiming for even better results at Donington Park.
A busy period for the WorldSSP riders is now underway with the Imola round being held between 14-16 July and the Most race weekend taking place over the weekend of 28 to 30 July.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “I’m pleased to have another chance to race in WorldSSP with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, but I hope Can is able to return soon. I really like the Donington Park track. It’s old style with many fast turns. The asphalt is new which is great news because there were too many bumps in recent years. Looking at the forecast, it seems the weather might be nice which would be fantastic. I’ll continue to work with the team to improve the bike and I can say my feeling with the Ninja has improved race-by-race. This means I can be more aggressive in the initial phases of each race.”
Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) has shown all the talent that made him WorldSSP300 champion in 2021 since he moved up to WorldSSP in 2022, even though he is still in the learning stage of his career. His best single result so far has been fifth, which he earned last time out at Misano.
Proven Moto3 race winner John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) has already stood on a WorldSSP podium during his rookie season, at the opening round in Phillip Island. He has high hopes for two strong race finishes at his home round, which will be another all new venue for him on the Ninja ZX-6R.
Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing Kawasaki) has taken an early lead in the WorldSSP Challenge points ranking, having recorded full championship points scores in all but one of his six races in 2023. The WorldSSP challenge is designed for riders who compete only in the European rounds of the championship.
Luke Power (Motozoo ME AIR Racing Kawasaki) and Yuta Okaya (Prodina Kawasaki Racing) return once more in their rookie seasons as WorldSSP Challenge riders.
In the overall championship standings, after five rounds and ten races, Öncü is still the highest placed Kawasaki rider in tenth place, with Huertas 13th and McPhee 14th.
Under a slightly changed daily schedule at Donington, due to the one hour time difference to most of Europe, the action gets underway on Friday 30 June. Superpole qualifying and then Race One are scheduled for Saturday 1 July, with Race Two being held on Sunday 2 July.
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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