Championship contender battles through pain in front of home fans
Motorbike racing can be an unpredictable sport, and Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) put this theory to the test this weekend at the Pirelli French Round. The French rider found himself in the gravel on Saturday, but was able to take a fourth position finish on Sunday as his main championship rival was on a plane back home.
With three rounds of the FIM Supersport World Championship remaining, Mahias was pushing in wet conditions in free practise three before he crashed his YZF-R6 at turn 15 and suffered an injury to his right wrist. Battling through the pain of the injury, Mahias was declared fit and started the race from 12th position.
With a tough opening laps in a dry Sunday race, the 28 year old was involved in a first lap clash with Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team) and found himself down in 19th position. Despite this, he was able to keep a cool head and fought through the field to get into the top four, with a huge amount of relief as he crossed the line.
“It was an amazing race,” begins a delighted Mahias. “I started in 12th and had a very difficult first few laps, and I was luckily able to save the crash. When I found myself down in 19th, I had to keep calm and push to go to the front. It was a very long race and I am happy, even though I would have preferred to take a podium at my home round. It is a good result, and I was able to take a lot of championship points, especially considering Kenan’s injuries.”
Bouncing back from a crash in Free Practise Three, the French rider adds his thoughts from Saturday: “It was a very bad day for me, so it’s incredible to think about what happened on Sunday. I thought that the championship was over, so that makes Sunday even more important. I am really sorry for Kenan, of course I would prefer to race with and try to win with him on track. For the championship I think it’s a lot better to have two riders battling for the title, who are fit.”
However, the Yamaha rider will not think about the title fight with two rounds remaining: “For the moment I am not thinking about the championship, I will just stick to my plan from the beginning of the year and push a lot to win the race. I think it’s not important to think of the championship fight at the minute.”
Relive the dramatic weekend of WorldSSP racing action from France, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass, as the series prepares to head for the final two rounds.