Mahias Wins Epic Final Race2020-10-20 08:21
With sunshine overhead and the motivation of one last WorldSSP race to compete in before the end of the season, the massed ranks of WorldSSP hopefuls attacked the 4.182km long Estoril circuit in Portugal with real intent for all 18-laps.
A leading group of ten riders were covered by just over a second at half race distance, with Lucas and Philipp well in contention for the race win.
Often running 1-2 on track Lucas and Philipp would finally finish second and third in the championship standings for a strong end to what has been a challenging season for all in the paddock. The Puccetti squad also won the Teams’ Championship this season, thanks to the combined on-track efforts of Mahias and Öttl.
Philipp looked the best bet for a Kawasaki race win as he was in the lead shortly before the end of the race but he was passed on the final lap and finished fifth. He was only 1.465 seconds behind his team-mate at the flag but his main target of finishing inside the top three for the year as a whole was finally achieved.
At the end of Lucas’ final season in WorldSSP he rounded out the year with two race wins in the final two rounds, taking his career totals up to nine race wins, four of them for his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team. The World Champion in 2017, Lucas could not have hoped for a better end to his enviable WorldSSP career before he joins the ranks of the WorldSBK series.
Philipp was in determined mood for race two and he finishes his first year in this category third overall. he has secured four podiums from 15 race starts and has a contract to continue with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team alongside new signing Can Öncü in 2021.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “It is a big emotion for me to win my last race in WorldSSP. I love this category and winning the final race is very good. It was a little bit like the same feeling when I won the championship a few years ago. I won a race in Magny Cours, but in the rain. To win in dry conditions, on a track with a long straight and after a lot of fighting, I am really happy. I think it was the best race of the year and now I am ready for the next challenge.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “A good race but on the last lap I made too many mistakes, as the plan was to finish on the podium, or even win the race. OK, it was not possible and I was a little bit concerned because I did not know if finishing in P5 was enough to secure P3 in the championship. I was faster than normal on the in-lap to the pit box to find out! But it was enough. OK, P5 after such a good race was not what I was looking for, but I am still happy. The team did an amazing job all year long and I am really pleased to be third overall.”
2019 WorldSSP300 champion Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) finished seventh today and seventh overall in his rookie WorldSSP year. Can Öncü (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was 14th in the final race, for 12th in the overall championship.
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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