Mahias snatches pole in dying seconds at San Juan circuit

Saturday, 13 October 2018 18:31 GMT

GRT one-two in Argentina, with Cortese completing the front row

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) claimed his fifth pole position of the FIM Supersport World Championship season and with it the 2018 Tissot Superpole Award, after a fantastic battle with teammate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) in the closing stages of Superpole at the Motul Argentinian Round.

The French rider led from the early stages of the Superpole 2 session at the Circuito San Juan Villicum and successfully defended his lead twice from championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing). With the checkered flag down, it seemed for a moment that Caricasulo might have stolen it at the death with a then-best lap of 1’43.328. But the 2017 World Champion had other plans, moving back into first by 0.302 seconds in the blink of an eye.

Mahias, Caricasulo and Cortese thus complete the front row in Argentina, with Jules Cluzel (NRT) making his way into fourth position and the front of row two. He was followed in qualifying by his own teammate Thomas Gradinger (NRT) in fifth, comfortably his best qualifying performance of his rookie season. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros WorldSSP Team) completes the second row in sixth, with Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) making it a Yamaha lockout for the top seven.

Eighth best in qualifying was Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurace Honda), with Hans Soomer (Racedays) and Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing), both through from Superpole 1, also netting their best grid positions of the year in ninth and tenth, respectively. A crash for Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) means that the Italian starts back in eleventh, with Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) down in twelfth.

It’s the penultimate race of the season and the title is still up for grabs! Tune in for tomorrow’s race with lights out at 14:30 local time (17:30 GMT), live from San Juan thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.