After a home race for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team itself at Imola one month ago Japanese star Okubo is keen to continue the kind of form that saw him score a career-best fourth position.
After some early season misfortunes, 2017 World Champion Mahias is determined to transform his raceday fortunes in Spain, after a potential podium challenge at Imola became an eighth place. A clash with another rider saw the Frenchman crash out and then remount to battle hard for eight championship points.
In the current championship standings Okubo’s excellent fourth place in Imola, plus consistent top ten points scoring performances through the season so far, see him ranked fourth. He is the top Kawasaki rider in the points.
Mahias is ranked seventh, but shares the same points total as the rider in sixth place after five of the scheduled 12 championship rounds have been completed.
Both Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders took part in winter tests at the Jerez circuit as part of the pre-season build up. They expect to add that experience to all the data collected from the five competitive rounds to make a strong start to the practice sessions on Friday 7 June. Raceday in Spain will be Sunday 9 June.
After the second Spanish round of the season at Jerez is completed the WorldSSP riders will take part in the second Italian round of the year, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, located on the Adriatic coast. Raceday will be Sunday 23 June.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Jerez is a track I really like and where I completed some very positive testing this winter. I’ve always had a good feeling at this track and after Imola, where I scored my best ever result, my next aim is to reach the podium in Spain.”
Lucas Mahias stated: “I like the Spanish track and I am pleased to race at Jerez. I enjoy all of the events in Spain, where there is always a special atmosphere. I think we can do well at the track as we were strong there during winter testing, and my feeling with the bike continues to grow. We’ve just been missing a little luck until now, something I hope we have more of this weekend. I’d like to achieve my first podium with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) sits 14th in the championship on the eve of Jerez, with Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) 16th overall, and still leading the ‘championship-within-a-championship’ FIM Europe Supersport Cup. English by birth Smith is nonetheless a long time Spanish resident, making Jerez something of a home round for him.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) is now 17th overall, just one point behind Smith. Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) is 21st overall, with Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and ESS rider Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) each seeking their first points score of 2019.