Championship contender is Friday’s fastest in WorldSSP class ahead of Cluzel and Canducci - despite an FP2 crash for the Yamaha rider
A rapid 1’43.521 lap in the final minutes of Friday afternoon’s WorldSSP free practice for Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) made him the fastest man on track in the class, 0.176s ahead of his compatriot Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and 0.267s in front of Italian rider Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI) – who was third.
Midway through FP2 Mahias went down at turn 9 and missed much of the rest of the session, only returning to the track in the final ten minutes. However, the Frenchman showed his intentions by outpacing his rivals at the end of the session.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were both in the top five - with American rider Jacobsen stopping due to a technical problem late in FP2.
Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively with all the frontrunners setting their best times in FP2 having earlier got a feel for the resurfaced track in the morning session.
Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) riding in his typically spectacular style was ninth best, lapping 0.741s off P1 in a tightly packed top ten which was rounded out by Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing). Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crashed at turn 6 late in FP2 and ended up 16th, having been well inside the provisional top ten only minutes previously.
In FP1 on Friday Mahias set the pace with a 1’43.676 time ahead of Cluzel and Federico Caricasulo.
The WorldSSP action will recommence on Saturday at the Pirelli Spanish Round with FP3 at 9.20am local time. SP1 then takes place at 2pm and is immediately followed by SP2 at 2.25pm.