Giving Kawasaki a first pole position since 2017, Lucas Mahias heads the field ahead of Sunday’s race, with shocks and surprises aplenty.
The 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship took to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for their Tissot Superpole session, which decided the grid ahead of Sunday’s race. Under darkening skies, it was frenetic action right through the 25-minutes as championship leader Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) crashed whilst a stunning late lap from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) saw the former WorldSSP champion take pole.
Mahias had a steady session, on the limit throughout the 25-minute encounter, constantly sliding sideways as he looked to get in a strong lap time. In the closing stages, Mahias propelled himself up the order as he stormed to pole position, giving Kawasaki their first in WorldSSP since Kenan Sofuoglu in 2017 at Portimao. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) managed to get second ahead of his teammate Krummenacher, making for a spectacular race day. Mahias’ pole position is France’s 74th in the class.
Once again, it was an impressive showing from Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) who took his joint-best Superpole starting position with fourth place, comfortably finishing as top Honda. Behind him on the second row is Pirelli Thai Round winner Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), whilst wildcard Luca Ottaviani (SGM Tecnic) took a career-best sixth place and will look to be in the fight on Sunday.
Row three features big names, with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) heading it up. The Spaniard has plenty of experience at Misano and put it to good use ahead of Sunday’s race. Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) suffered his worst Tissot Superpole of the year at his home round, whilst Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was only able to get ninth at the end of the session. The top ten is completed by wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (GOMMA Racing).
Big names outside of the top ten include Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing), back in 12th place and Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) in 15th. Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who has taken top tens in the last two races, crashed at Turn 10 and was only able to finish 20th.
Pole position – Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“I am really happy! I feel like if I have had won a race! My team worked so hard to give me a good bike and adapt it to my riding style. Step by step my feeling with the bike is improving. We didn’t do a lot of testing this year so my experience is growing after each race that we do. We haven’t changed anything on the bike since the beginning of the season, but I have just improved my feeling with it. After many years riding with Yamaha, this year I have had to learn how to ride the Kawasaki. Tomorrow for the race we expect different conditions and higher temperatures. Yesterday the conditions were similar and we made a race simulation, and my pace is not bad. We are ready for tomorrow!”.
#RiminiWorldSBK WorldSSP at Misano World Circuit:
1. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 1’38.909
2. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 1’39.115
3. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 1’39.206
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