The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team enjoyed a great start to the action on Friday at the Lausitzring for round eight of the 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship. Championship leader Lucas Mahias impressed throughout the day to finish third on the overall timesheets despite some heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon. His teammate Federico Caricasulo also showed good pace on the championship’s return from the summer break as he ended Friday in fifth overall, meaning both riders have made it through directly to SP2 on Saturday.
The GRT Yamaha team held a private two-day test at the Lausitzring a few weeks ago and their hard work was immediately apparent as both riders hit the ground running in FP1. Mahias looked comfortable straight away on his R6 in the morning session, battling at the top of the timesheets all session. The 28-year-old French rider, who has a five-point lead in the championship standings, ended the session in third, just 0.281s behind the leader. A heavy thunderstorm saw most riders spend the majority of FP2 in the garage as they waited for the track to dry out. With ten minutes to go, Mahias took to the track to put in four laps to get within a second of his best time from FP1 to finished the session in second, and with hardly any riders improving their times in FP2, he ended the day in third overall on the timesheets.
His teammate Caricasulo felt refreshed and fully recovered from a shoulder injury that affected him during the first half of the season as he hit the track for FP1. He ended the session by setting 1:42.010, which was good enough for fifth and just 0.534s off the top. IN the afternoon, like most riders, he waited for the track to dry before heading out in the last ten minutes. Incredibly, despite the still drying track he managed to get within 0.3s of his best time from the morning and ended the day fifth on the overall timesheets and confident of a good qualifying on Saturday.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are back on track at 9:20am on Saturday morning for FP3, with qualifying starting at 2pm and Sunday’s race scheduled for 11:30am.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 3rd – 1:41.757
“The feeling with my Yamaha R6 was really good today! At the test we did here, I worked a lot to improve the base setting. The track has so many bumps it is very difficult to find a good setup with the bike here, so we definitely have an advantage by the fact we tested here. I am very happy! In the morning, I was very quick and then in FP2 when it was wet, I only went out at the end and did four laps but I was second fastest, which is great. My feeling is good and I am confident for qualifying tomorrow and for Sunday’s race. It is very important to take a good result from here to allow us to stay ahead in the championship and get the best possible start to the second half of the season.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 5th – 1:42.010
“We had a very good test here a few weeks ago and I have a great feeling with my bike! I am very happy to have made it through to SP2 directly, but I would have preferred another full dry session to make sure my feeling with the bike was perfect. I am confident for tomorrow’s qualifying and we will see what I can do when it comes to the race!”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
“I am very happy! We have started in the right way after our test here and we feel the targets we set ourselves here are attainable in regards to position and lap times. In FP1 we were working to ensure we could be in the top five, which is always our target on Friday, and then we normally focus on race pace in FP2. Unfortunately, the weather in the afternoon was not very good and we lost most of the session, apart from the last ten minutes. Despite this, both riders were happy with the feeling of their bikes and their lap times were very close to their best time in FP1. We are very happy with this and we feel we are ready for Superpole tomorrow and for Sunday’s race. Our aim is to focus on the championship and maintain our lead, that is the most important thing!”