Mahias had been fifth on Friday, with Okubo seventh, but each rider improved his position today when it came down to finding the best possible starting position for Sunday’s 19-lap race.
Both riders were to fall in the Superpole session, Okubo early on and Mahias at the end, both without injury. Okubo was confident he could improve his lap time but was held back after a rider crashed in front of him near the end.
The performance of both leading Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders saw two Ninjas inside the top six places, with another rider making it three inside the top seven.
Now the competitors and their technical crews will make their final preparations for Sunday’s race and verify them in morning warm-up before the race itself. It will take place at 12.15CET on Sunday 9 June.
The sixth race of the 12 round championship on Sunday will mark the end of the first half of the season, with only one free weekend before the seventh round takes place at Misano.
Lucas Mahias stated: “It is a long time since I was on the first row. I am happy for Kawasaki and the team because we have been five or six races without a ‘present’ for all the work they do. Now it is a little present for the first part of the weekend but the most important thing is tomorrow’s race. I had a good feeling on the bike but qualifying was strange because there were a lot of crashes. When it gets hot it is slippery and for sure it is the maximum level. The lap times are fast here and the whole category is very fast again this year. I am confident for tomorrow because the key to the race will be tyres in these hot temperatures. I think I have already selected my tyre choice for the race and I am ready.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “I made a big mistake today because in the first lap I crashed. I want to say sorry to the team. I am lucky because the damage was small and my team did good work to get me out again in Superpole to set my lap time. It was my best lap at this circuit. I tried to go even faster at the end on a fresh tyre but a rider crashed in front of me and I had no more chances for a final time attack. Sixth place, starting on the second row, was not so bad for me. I am sure I can try for a podium tomorrow.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was once again a top privateer rider in seventh place but his team-mate Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was unable to ride in Superpole and finished 28th on the grid as a result.
A strong performance from local rider Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) saw him 18th of the 28 riders, with Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) 19th. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was 20th and Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) 27th.