The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

23 October 2018

Final Round Push For Okubo And Barbera

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Hector Barbera will take on the unique challenge of racing under floodlights during the final weekend of the 2018 WorldSSP Championship, at the Losail International Circuit this coming weekend.

The overall Kawasaki Puccetti Racing effort has been on an upward trend recently, with both Hikari and Hector putting in their season-best performances at the most recent round in Argentina last time out. Hikari scored eighth place at the all-new San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina, and recent signing Hector was ninth in only his third WorldSSP race.
In the overall championship Okubo is now 12th, the highest ranked he has been in 2018. Barbera also made progress in the table after his third points score in three races, as he now sits 18th.
Both Hector and Hikari have raced under the floodlights at Losail before, Hikari last year in WorldSSP and Hector on many occasions during his MotoGP career.
The race at Losail will be held on Saturday the 27th of October, rather than the more usual Sunday at the other rounds. Superpole qualifying will therefore be held on Friday the 26th of October, with the first track sessions starting one day before.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “The next round will be the last of the season and my aim is to end this year making my best ever result in Qatar. I think we have all what we need to make this possible. After Argentina I am getting back on the bike with more confidence. Our last race weekend wasn’t that bad. I qualified 16th and still ended the race in 8th position. I believe that if I will be able to get a better grid position, I will be able to battle at the front.”
Hector Barbera stated: “After the Argentinean Round I got closer to the front and I am really confident to be able to set up a better performance compared to the first three races with the team. I know this racetrack very well and I like it very much. Also, I think its layout suits the Kawasaki best. My limit now is in exiting the corners, but the circuit in Qatar has corners that are more favourable to our bike. During these past race weekends I prepared myself for this round and I believe this time we will be able to battle into the top five.”
Christian Stange and Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz from the Team GoEleven Kawasaki squad are back in the fray at Losail, as is Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki). Glenn van Straalen (EAB antwest Kawasaki) has been the most recent rider choice inside the team.