The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are excited and ready for round ten of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship in Magny-Cours, France this weekend, buoyed by the news they have secured both of their riders for the 2018 season. Lucas Mahias is second in the championship standings, trailing the leader by just four points with three races left to go, and is looking forward to taking the fight to his rivals at his home round. His teammate Federico Caricasulo is hoping to continue the impressive pace he has shown throughout the season and is ready for whatever weather conditions the weekend has in store.
Yamaha Motor Europe and the GRT team earlier announced the both Mahias and Caricasulo will be staying with the team for the 2018 season and that the GRT squad would remain as the officially supported Yamaha team for 2018.
Mahias has shown incredible consistency this season, highlighted at the last round in Portimao where he crossed the line in second to record his seventh podium of the season, although he lost his championship lead to race-winner Kenan Sofuoglu in the process. The 28-year-old French rider has led the way in the championship since his round 3 victory at Aragon but now sits second in the overall standings, trailing Sofuoglu by four points with just three races left in the season. The former French Supersport Champion has good memories of the Magny-Cours circuit, having finished third at the track on a Yamaha in the 2015 WorldSSP race and winning last year’s STK1000 race. With the championship battle so close, Mahias knows the importance of a good result at his home round in Magny-Cours and is determined to fight for the win in front of the passionate French support and retake his championship lead.
Caricasulo showed good pace all weekend in Portimao but finished in seventh after making the wrong tyre choice. Determined to bounce back and build on the undoubted pace he has shown this year – highlighted by his stunning victory in Thailand – the 21-year-old is keen to get back on track in France with his Yamaha R6 having recorded a top-six finish at the circuit last year. Caricasulo knows that the weather can play a big role in how things play out at Magny-Cours, but is confident that no matter what the conditions he can be competitive around the French circuit. He currently lies sixth in the WorldSSP Championship standings with 60 points, just 19 points behind PJ Jacobsen in fifth.
The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours is located in central France, 250km south of Paris. The track was originally built back in 1960 but has been revamped a number of times, most recently in 2003. It is 4.411km long, consists of 17 corners – nine right and eight left-handed – and has a start/finish straight of just 250m. Most of the corners are modelled on famous turns from other tracks, with the corners bearing the track names that inspired them, and it comprises of a mix of slow, technical hairpins and high-speed chicanes, with hardly any elevation changes.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team take to the track on Friday morning at 11:00 am local time for Free Practice 1, with Saturday’s qualifying starting at 14:00 pm and Sunday’s race at 11:30 am.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 2nd – 141 points
“I like Magny-Cours a lot, not so much for the layout of the track, but because it is my home race and I have a very good record there! The circuit has lots of chicanes, which are more suited to cars and on a bike, it is not as much fun, although there are a few corners which I really like and the fast sections of the track are incredible. They are really exciting to ride on the R6. The track tends to lead to some excellent battles during the race, but the grip levels suffer when it is wet, so I hope the sun will be out this weekend. I am excited to be racing in front of my fans and I will do my best to fight for the win!”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 6th – 60 points
“I am ready for Magny-Cours! I like the track, but it is one of those circuits where the weather can play a big part in things. That never makes it easy, but we are confident we can be competitive in any conditions. We will work hard from Friday’s FP1 to try and get a good feeling with the bike, as that can be crucial at this circuit. I am looking forward to getting back on track and, as always, I will try to fight for the podium.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
“I am very happy to have extended the contracts for both riders for next year and this means we can go to Magny-Cours completely focused on this race. We have high expectations for Lucas here at his home race and we hope to get an important result for the championship. Lucas knows the track well, he has always been very fast here and we will work hard to make sure we give him the best package possible. It is his home race and while that can distract some riders, he is very professional and I think it will be a boost for him to ride in front of his fans. For Federico, it is important for him to reach the best performance he can at every track for the rest of the season and we will try and get the best result possible. He is excited to race here and, after a disappointing race in Portimao, the whole team will be working hard to get him back on the podium where he belongs. The weather looks quite mixed for the weekend, but we are ready for whatever happens!”