Top Four Qualifying For New Yamaha YZF-R6 First Time Out
The first competitive qualifying outing of the Yamaha YZF-R6 in the FIM Supersport World Championship ended with GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team riders Federico Caricasulo and Lucas Mahias earning third and fourth best lap times respectively.
Running on good track conditions, and after two days of positive testing earlier in the week, both riders started strongly today, aiming for full race set-ups as a priority but finding real single lap pace as well.
2017 signing Caricasulo who was a podium finisher at Phillip Island last season - completed a positive 13-lap long-run on the all-new Yamaha. He intends to continue his race-oriented strategy on Saturday, having already qualified for Superpole 2.
Mahias has also been on fast form since he joined the new official team last winter but his good work today was suddenly ended when a tyre issue led to a fast crash at turn three. Lucas escaped with only an injured finger and no fractures, but his bike will have to be completely rebuilt overnight due to the significant damage suffered after such a high speed fall.
Now the aim of each rider is to qualify well in Superpole 2 and work towards the fight for podium places in the first race of the new season on Sunday 26th February.
4th / 1'33.625 / 33 laps
It was very difficult day because this morning was good, the second session was also positive and we worked to improve the settings. In the afternoon I tried a simulation of the race but after eight laps there was a problem in turn three. I had a fast highside crash and I injured my finger but it is not broken. It was not my fault but my bike was completely destroyed.
3rd / 1'33.602 / 52 laps
I improved my lap time this afternoon but the most important thing was that I worked a lot on pace over race distance. I tried to do a race simulation but I did 13 laps. The race is 18 so I hope it will be good for the final few laps too. I think I can be competitive and fighting for the podium. I took a podium at Phillip Island last year but things in that race happened to my advantage. I was not as fast as the first three riders but I was little bit lucky with my first podium. I hope to repeat it this year but because I am fast enough to do it.