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2018 WorldSSP Losail Circuit Qatar - Losail

25 October 2018

Mahias Sets The Pace on Opening Day in Qatar

Mahias Sets The Pace on Opening Day in Qatar

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Lucas Mahias dominated proceedings on the opening day of action under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, setting the fastest time in both WorldSSP free practice sessions. Federico Caricasulo used today's track time to work on race set-up on his Yamaha YZF-R6 but still posted a time less than a second off that of his teammate to finish the day seventh on combined times.

Mahias, who was disqualified from the Portuguese race back in September, was reinstated as the winner of the ninth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship in Portugal, following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ruling by the CAS, which was handed down yesterday, meant that Mahias was awarded the 25 points for the race win in Portimão, elevating him from fourth to third place in the championship standings.
Mahias arrived in Qatar determined to end his season with a third race win and was fast from the off in this afternoon's opening WorldSSP free practice session, setting the fastest time despite a dusty track surface making traction difficult to find.
The GRT Yamaha rider continued the same form later in the evening, leading for most of the second 50-minute session before his rivals were able to make the most of the improving conditions towards the end to better his time. Undeterred, Mahias waited until his very final flying lap to reclaim the top spot with a time of 2'00.876.
Caricasulo is confident of closing the gap to his teammate tomorrow, having spent both sessions today working to refine his set-up for Saturday's race. The Italian and his crew have identified sector three as the place where they can find the most improvement, so this is where they will focus their attention overnight, as they work through the data to find a solution ahead for the final free practice session and the all-important qualifying tomorrow.

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