Return to Form for GRT Yamaha in Aragon Qualifying
Following a challenging first practice day yesterday for this weekend's FIM Supersport World Championship round at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP riders Lucas Mahias and Federico Caricasulo bounced back today in qualifying to take fifth and thirteenth on the grid respectively for tomorrow's race.
Putting yesterday's set up challenges behind him, Frenchman Mahias came out blazing this morning in the third free practice session, quickly finding his early season form. He was able to comfortably put the all-new YZF-R6 at the top of the practice timesheets with a 1'55.665s lap. The first Superpole session delivered more of the same, Mahias rising quickly to the top to ensure a place in Superpole 2 with a lap of 1'55.217. A hesitation on his final tyre for the session left not enough time and clear space to deliver the essential lap, putting him fifth on the grid for the race.
Teammate Caricasulo also enjoyed a better day than yesterday. Despite some small issues in the morning he was able to pick up his pace and find a more enjoyable ride. He was only just over 0.241secs from making it through to Superpole 2, and was able to find a good race pace. His third place finish in Superpole 1 puts him 13th on the grid for tomorrow's World Supersport race.
Lucas Mahias - 5th, 1'55.440
"I finished fifth in the qualifying so I'm very happy. Yesterday was very difficult, leaving me finishing 13th at the end of the day. Today I worked hard in the morning to improve and found a very good feeling in the front with my bike. It's difficult because I had to start in Superpole 1 but I took first position which was good so I could go automatically into Superpole 2. Unfortunately my best lap in that session wasn't so good. On my second tyre I had a lot of riders on the line to follow me and I lost my best time. At the end to start in fifth is good on the second row. Tomorrow I'm confident to finish on the podium and take the maximum points possible for the championship."
Federico Caricaselo - 13th, 1'55.576
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team rider
"Today I made my first few laps with the bike working really well and the issues solved from yesterday. For a very small time I was not in Superpole 1, but I was a bit unlucky at the end. I feel a lot more confident, today the bike was good, we have to improve a little in the settings to manage the rear tyre life a little better. At the end we are 13th on the grid but I know we have the pace to move up closer to the front."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
"It's been a challenging weekend because when we started yesterday we started with some issues on Federico's side which we tried to fix in FP2 in the rain to have a better set up, and with Lucas we had different settings which weren't the best, then the weather didn't help us move forward. We went back to the first settings with Lucas because we knew that if we went a step back everything would work properly. Today we started still with some small problems for Federico but we improved. It was a shame Rolfo managed to jump up and take the second spot in Superpole 1 so we missed the chance to move through to Superpole 2 with Federico. We are very confident for tomorrow because we know that the race lap time is very good for him and we know that with a good start he can be with the fast group at the front and ins good position.
With Lucas the change of suspension made him very confident so we also were able to make good lap times. For his second Superpole tyre we decided to wait a little for a clean line, but in the end we missed the opportunity otherwise he would have been on the front row. His time is fast and consistent so I think he is going to have a good start and be in front for sure."