In his second season as an officially supported Kawasaki rider Mahias starts the Aussie weekend having already won two WorldSSP races on the Ninja in 2019. He finished that season in overall fourth place despite finding some tough luck in the early rounds.
Frenchman Mahias, World Champion in 2017, has scored seven WorldSSP wins across his career, part of a total of 21 podiums in the middleweight class. Lucas, one of the most determined riders around, was ninth fastest in the recent tests in Australia as he worked on finding an ideal set-up to go for what would be his second WorldSSP race win at Phillip Island.
Öttl, a rookie in WorldSSP but an experienced rider inside the Grand Prix paddock, showed well at the recent official organisers’ tests at PI, finishing sixth overall and top Kawasaki rider.
Philipp has great knowledge of the 4.445km long Australian circuit after his GP experiences, which he hopes to be able to translate into a strong result in his first Kawasaki WorldSSP ride. The German rider now feels ready to get on with a new chapter of his racing story at full pace.
The Australian race will take place on Sunday 1 March this year. It will be the first to feature slick tyres in the WorldSSP class, as all classes in the greater WorldSBK paddock will make the switch to full race rubber in dry conditions from now on.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “We’ve got a lot done at the recent tests. I’m not totally satisfied with the results and we know we still have work to do, but the overall impression is positive. We’ve worked hard to test various components, to the detriment of lap times, but it was very important to find a base set-up from which to start, so that we’re in the best possible condition for the weekend’s racing.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “We have just gone through two very useful and important days in testing. We’ve worked hard on the bike, which is very different to ride around this track than the Moto2 I’ve ridden previously. We initially focused on the front end then we worked on tyre grip and wear. We were able to test all the available tyres and in the last session I was able to improve my lap time. I feel prepared for the first race weekend of the season.”
Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) won the WorldSSP300 championship in some style last year and has quickly adapted to the WorldSSP championship. He was 17th fastest in recent tests in Australia.
Can Öncü (Turkish Puccetti Racing) is another new Kawasaki WorldSSP rider for 2020, operating from within the overall Puccetti set-up. He was 11th at the recent official PI tests.