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2017 WorldSSP Assen Netherlands

29 April 2017

GRT Yamaha Pick Up the Pace in Assen World Supersport Superpole

GRT Yamaha Pick Up the Pace in Assen World Supersport Superpole

It was an encouraging day for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSPP Team in Assen as Lucas Mahias carried his form from free practice into SP2, the French rider qualifying in fourth for Sunday’s race. Teammate Federico Caricasulo will also be in the mix after securing ninth on the grid for what should be a closely fought round four of the 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship.

Championship leader Mahias was quickest out of the blocks in SP2, setting a 1.38.633s lap to leap into second after his first run. The race winner last time out in Aragon then managed to improve to a 1’38.389s, looking good for a provisional front row start until the dying moments of the session when a flurry of hot laps relegated him to fourth. Mahias will start Sunday’s 18-lap race from the head of the second row, confident he can fight for the podium to extend his 5-point championship lead.

Caricasulo found himself in fifth after the first run, having set a 1’39.223s lap on his second flyer despite not having a great feeling with the front tyre. On his second run and with just moments to go he improved to a 1’39.148s, that was good enough to secure ninth on the grid. The Italian is feeling confident with his Yamaha YZF-R6 and will be looking to fight for the podium when the lights go out on Sunday.

Interviewed: Lucas Mahias

“I am very happy, it was a very good qualification. I am not on the front row, but it is good because the gap to the others riders is small. For the moment I am happy with the bike, because yesterday I wasn't very confident, so thank you to my mechanics as they have worked hard to make the bike very good today. I am very confident for the race, the win will be difficult because Kenan is very fast and comfortable around here, but for the podium it is very possible.”

Interviewed: Federico Caricasulo

“In my first exit I didn't have a good feeling with the tyre and with my second tyre I made some mistakes and missed out on a good time. Tomorrow if my shoulder is okay I think I can do a good race. The bike is working really well and I think we have the pace to fight with the front group.”

Interviewed: Fiippo Conti

“We are very happy for Lucas because we missed third place by a very small margin, and more importantly he has a good feeling with the bike. He is very satisfied and feels he is capable of a good performance and a good result. For Federico we had a very good qualifying strategy. Unfortunately he had some problems with the first tyre, which was very slippery. His second tyre was much better, but he didn’t have enough time to gain confidence with it and so missed the opportunity to secure the lap time he was capable of. We will work on some changes for tomorrow morning’s Warm Up to improve the feeling with the front and believe we have two riders capable of fighting for the podium. I want to say thank you to the team for working hard as always this weekend to give our riders bikes they can feel confident on.”

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