The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are focused and ready to get back on track at Portimao this weekend for the round nine of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Having completed a recent two-day test at the track, championship leader Lucas Mahias is feeling confident he can hit the ground running on Friday. His teammate Federico Caricasulo is looking to continue his fight for third in the championship after his unfortunate DNF last time out at the Lausitzring while battling for the race win.
Mahias (121 points) heads to Portimao with a one-point lead in the championship standings over his rival Kenan Sofuoglu, after finishing in third at the Lausitzring in the red-flagged race. The 28-year-old French rider was battling for the lead when he was taken out by his teammate’s bike during the race, in the incident that brought out the red flag, but showed quick thinking to return to the pits within the time limit to secure his sixth podium of the season. The team’s recent test at the track means that Mahias will arrive in Portimao confident with the base setup of his Yamaha R6 and ready to take the title fight to his rivals.
Caricasulo showed great pace throughout the weekend in Germany, qualifying in second and battling for the race win before his unfortunate crash. The 21-year-old Italian was left with bruising and a slight concussion, but feels 100% recovered and ready to hit the ground running in Portimao after a very positive test at the track. He currently occupies sixth in the championship standings with 51 points but is just 50 points behind the rider in third. Caricasulo is looking to bounce back after his DNF at the Lausitzring and record his third podium of the season at a track he, like many riders, clearly enjoys.
The Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round takes place at the iconic Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, as the WorldSBK championship returns to the track after a year’s absence. The circuit is located in the Algarve region in Southern Portugal and is known for its challenging layout, which includes a mix of fast sweeping turns and slower hairpins, incredible elevation changes, and a 970m long start/finish straight. Opened in 2008, it held its first WorldSBK round that year and is 4,592m in length, with 6 left and 8 right-handed corners.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team hit the track on Friday at 11am local time for FP1, with Saturday’s qualifying starting at midday, and Sunday’s 18-lap race also scheduled for midday.