Rabat replaces injured Mahias for Misano, special livery for Puccetti’s home round
Whilst Lucas Mahias continues his recovery, 2014 Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat is back
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will miss the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship following an injury sustained in the Tissot Superpole Race at the Circuito Estoril three weeks ago. He will be replaced in the Puccetti Kawasaki outfit by ex-full-time WorldSBK rider Tito Rabat, with the Spaniard making his return to the class this weekend. The team will also have a special home livery for their home round, with the historic ELF livery making its annual appearance in Italy.
Mahias’ 2022 season had been steady up until the point where he picked up a fifth metacarpal bone fracture on his right hand. The Frenchman had scored points in five of the eight races, with a tenth place at the TT Circuit Assen being his best result so far this season and his first top ten of the year so far. Mahias was injured for the remainder of the 2021 season after the Catalan Round in September, but will hope that his injury heals quickly during the breaks between rounds before the summer break really kicks in.
Replacing him, Tito Rabat has history in WorldSBK, having moved to the Championship last year, originally with the Barni Ducati outfit. It was a tricky season for the Spaniard however, with just two top ten finishes before he and the team parted company after Magny-Cours and before the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. However, Rabat did replace Mahias for the remainder of the season in 2021, picking up four points-scoring finishes with a best of 11th. So far in 2022, the 2014 Moto2™ World Champion has been racing in the Spanish Superbike championship, where he’s mounted the podium on more than one occasion.
Speaking about getting back on the WorldSBK grid, Rabat said: “I’m really very pleased to be back racing with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and I thank Manuel and the whole team for putting their trust in me, at their home round no less, which I know is very important for them. I’m highly motivated and fully committed. I hope that the weather is good and that we can enjoy a weekend that will be challenging but also wonderful. I can’t wait to get back to work with the team, after getting on with them so well last year.”
The team will also run a special ELF livery for their home round, sometime team principal Manuel Puccetti looks forward to: “We are very determined and keen to give it our all at our home round, in front of our fans and sponsors. At the last three Supersport rounds, we scored two podiums and were consistently frontrunners, so we can only be optimistic ahead of the Misano races, also considering the results that we achieved in pre-season testing, held at this track in March. In WorldSBK, unfortunately, Lucas Mahias has not yet fully recovered from the injury he suffered at Estoril, and we will replace him with Tito Rabat, who knows the team and the bike from having raced with us the last three rounds of last season. I’m pleased and proud to use the historic and beautiful ELF livery for the first year, which reinforces our collaboration with Total Italia”.
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