Yamaha Motor Europe and the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are delighted to announce the extension of both Lucas Mahias’ and Federico Caricasulo’s contracts for the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship. In his first full season with the team, Mahias (141 points) is currently locked in a two-way battle for the championship, trailing his main rival by just four points with three races to go after taking victory in Aragon and recording a further six podiums in nine races. Caricasulo has also impressed in his debut year with the team, winning in Thailand and notching up another rostrum in Misano and he currently sits sixth in the championship with 60 points.
Yamaha Motor Europe are also happy to confirm that GRT will remain as the official Yamaha supported team in the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship and that together they decided to exercise the option in both rider’s contracts for a one-year extension that will see them, once again, line up on the grid as teammates next season.
Mahias has had a sensational debut season in the WorldSSP championship after he made the switch from the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team at the start of the year, following the opening round of the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship. The 28-year-old former French Supersport Champion (2014) got things off to a near-perfect start by finishing in second at the first round in Phillip Island, before taking his first WorldSSP victory in Aragon a couple of races later. The French rider’s consistency has so been so impressive in 2017 that, apart from two DNFs in Thailand and Misano, he has been ever-present on the podium. With three races to go in the season, Mahias is locked in an incredible championship battle that has seen him lead the way in the standings for the majority of the year. After the last round in Portugal, he currently trails championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu by just four points with two races remaining. Keen to continue his excellent relationship with the official Yamaha team and his R6, Mahias was delighted to have agreed to stay on for another season.
Caricasulo joined Yamaha at the start of the 2017 WorldSSP season after having spent his debut year in the class with another manufacturer. The 21-year-old confirmed himself as one of the most talented young riders in the championship by taking a stunning victory in just his second race on the Yamaha R6 in Thailand. He has suffered from his fair share of bad luck with 5 DNFs so far in 2017, but a top-six finish in Assen was followed by a podium at Misano, and now the 21-year-old Italian is hoping to add consistency to his obvious pace in 2018 to make him a serious title contender. The 2014 Italian Supersport Champion is excited to be continuing his partnership with Yamaha and the GRT squad for another year, as he feels it is the perfect combination of machine and team to help him challenge for the title in 2018.
Up next for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team is round ten of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship at Magny-Cours on the 29th September-1st October.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 2nd – 141 points
“I am really happy to have signed for another year with GRT and Yamaha! Yamaha is the manufacturer closest to my heart. I started my career with them in 2009 on an R6 and it is great to know that I will get to fight for the 2018 Supersport World Championship in the official Yamaha team and riding the R6. This year was my first time with an official team in WorldSSP and it has been amazing, so I am excited to continue with GRT and Yamaha for another season. The team really is the perfect setup for me and the R6 is by far the best bike. It has allowed me to always be fighting at the front during 2017 and with another year of experience under our belts, in 2018 I believe we will have an even stronger package!”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 6th – 60 points
“I’m very happy to be staying with GRT and Yamaha for another season because we have shown how competitive we can be this year and that will only improve in our second season together. GRT are an amazing team and I love the Yamaha R6, plus the experience we have gained together in 2017 has made me a stronger and better rider. Therefore, continuing this journey together should allow us to be even faster and more consistent in 2018. My aim next year is to win the title and I feel I that racing on the R6 in the official GRT Yamaha team is the perfect combination to allow me to try and become a World Champion!”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
“We are very happy with the Yamaha decision to confirm the two riders for the next year and also the fact that we will remain as the official team. Both riders deserve to be in the official Yamaha team for another season, as both have done a very good job. Lucas is having a superb season. He has been very strong and I feel he will be even stronger next season in his challenge for the title with this years’ experience in the class under his belt. Federico is a real young talent. He is a very good rider and with another seasons experience, he will only get better. It is important for him to be with a team like us and working with someone like Yamaha at this stage in his career. We feel the consistency will come with this experience and he already has shown his undoubted pace in races like Thailand. He has the potential to be a real title contender next year, he just needs to add that consistency. I am very happy that we get to spend another season with both the riders. Both riders are very good people, and I am very happy to have them in the team for next season. We will be working very hard with the team and Yamaha to give them the best equipment to go out and win the title in 2018. We have the history and experience, and we know what we have to do to go out and hit our targets for next year.”