Mahias on pole for Losail WorldSSP showdown

Friday, 3 November 2017 17:26 GMT

Friday night action at Acerbis Qatar Round sees Mahias secure pole position, with Cluzel and Tuuli also grabbing front row starts

Saturday’s final WorldSSP race of the 2017 season at Qatar will see championship contender Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) get away from pole thanks to a superb Tissot Superpole 2 performance. His compatriot Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) also qualified on the front row, under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit.

A new lap record of 2’00.738 for the championship leader gives him pole as he bids to secure the World title in style on Saturday. Cluzel qualified 0.546s behind his fellow Frenchman, whilst Tuuli was delighted to grab third on the grid, with a lap which was 0.654s off P1.

Defending World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) remarkably qualified in fourth place as he continued his comeback, after suffering fractures to his pelvis at the French round of the championship just over a month ago. Sofuoglu is riding through the pain barrier during this final weekend of the season and is receiving medical checkups after each session as he bids to prevent Mahias from taking his crown. Mahias goes into the final race of the season with a 20-point advantage at the top of the standings.

PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) should be amongst the front runners in the race, getting away just behind Sofuoglu on row two.

Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) are all on row three despite a crash in SP2 for Smith.

Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) and Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) all qualified on row four.

Two of WorldSSP’s best known riders had come through the earlier Tissot Superpole 1 with Jacobsen leading that session courtesy of a 2’01.757 lap, with South African Morais following the American through to SP2 0.038s behind him.