After an opening day that was sometimes wet and sometimes dry, and then with the unexpected arrival of rain today also, it was not the most straightforward of pre-race preparations for either Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider in France.
Mahias had a sometimes dramatic Saturday, colliding with a slower rider and then falling at slow speed during Superpole, after fitting a new rear tyre that was not sufficiently warm.
Lucas was uninjured and now looks forward to his home race on Sunday, in what all hope will be better, drier, conditions than Magny Cours offered up today.
Once again Okubo was unfortunate to just miss a second row start and he will now launch from the best place on the third row of the grid – seventh - for Sunday’s 19-lap WorldSSP race.
Weather conditions for Sunday may not be certain quite yet but the expectation is for a dry race, which will be the final WorldSSP contest of the European season before two final ‘flyway’ races in Argentina and Qatar.
Lucas Mahias stated: “Today was not perfect and the first day was also a little difficult - sometimes raining, sometimes dry. It was not so easy this morning but the feeling on the bike is good in dry conditions. I finished second and I was really happy, even though I lost my fastest lap because of a slow rider in front of me. But the feeling from the bike was good. For Superpole I felt strong on the bike in the rain until I stopped in the middle of the session to change a tyre. It proved not to be a good choice because it was cold and I crashed in a slow corner. I was a little bit angry for this decision but it was OK in the end because I will start the race in fifth position. I am looking to have a good result.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “It was such a difficult Superpole today because after the morning session the rain came back, a lot of rain, and the track feeling was very slippery. Yesterday was much better in these conditions. I tried to push hard but my bike feeling was that I was sliding too much from the rear. I rode with safety so I would not crash, which was important. Finally I was in seventh position which does not make me happy, because yesterday in the rain I was in second place. It is OK because I look to the race with positivity and if all goes well I can get a podium; I hope so.”
Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) took his first ever pole position start in WorldSSP, setting an early best time, then sliding off at one point before finally restarting to set an even faster lap time.
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was also a potent force in Superpole qualifying, finishing up third fastest, and putting two Kawasakis on the front row.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 11th in Superpole and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) 15th.
Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 19th. Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) fractured his left humerus in a fall on Friday and was ruled out of any further action this weekend.