Caricasulo Enjoys Perfect Weekend in Jerez as Mahias Extends Championship Lead
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team had an incredible Sunday at a hot and sunny Jerez for the penultimate round of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Federico Caricasulo had the 'perfect' weekend, starting from pole he won the race and set a new lap record in the process. His teammate Lucas Mahias had been the man to beat all weekend but had an issue with his front tyre during the race. Undeterred, he rode valiantly to finish in fifth and extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one round remaining in Qatar.
Caricasulo built on his brilliant podium last time out in Magny-Cours by pulling out all the stops on Sunday to complete the full racing triumvirate. Starting from pole position, the 21-year-old Italian was involved in an incredible race-long battle with Jules Cluzel, leading across the line for 18 of the 19-lap race and eventually coming out on top by just 0.065s to take his second victory of the season. It was a sensational performance and, in the process, he also managed to set the fastest lap of the race, smashing the previous record that had stood since 2013 with a 1:43.922. After this spectacular result, Caricasulo remains sixth in the championship standings but now with 105 points, just five points behind Jules Cluzel in fifth.
Mahias had his first chance to lift the WorldSSP title in Jerez and the French rider had shown blistering pace all weekend, topping every practice session along the way. After a small crash in SP2, he started Sunday's race from fifth on the grid but almost immediately started to suffer from an issue with his front tyre. Needing to finish second or higher to be crowned champion, he was understandably frustrated with his lack of front-end grip after the pace he had shown in practice. Despite this, Mahias (165 points) fought bravely to bring his Yamaha R6 home in a superb fifth position and extend his championship lead to 20 points, with just 25 up for grabs in Qatar.
After these results, the GRT team were awarded the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Team title and to cap off an amazing day, Yamaha also lifted the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship Manufacturer's title thanks to the efforts of Mahias and Caricasulo plus, of course, Kallio Racing's Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais.
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team will now head to the final round in Qatar on the 2nd-4th of November with the goal of Mahias winning the Championship, in the process completing the clean sweep of WorldSSP titles. Check out the WorldSSP race results.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st - 33:07.725
"I am very happy because we did a really good job! My team and my Yamaha R6 have been simply brilliant in Jerez, as you can tell by the fact we had the 'perfect' race weekend with pole position, fastest lap in the race and a new lap record, plus of course the victory...incredible! I have a great feeling with my bike and my team, plus I think we can improve even more in Qatar so that we can finish the year in the strongest way possible. I will try and do the same in Losail as we did here so that we can enter the 2018 season full of confidence!"
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 5th +7.248s
"It was a very difficult race because I didn't have a good feeling with the bike as I had an issue with my front tyre. That was very frustrating as I topped almost every session this weekend and yet in the race I finished in fifth, which was good for the championship but I wanted to win. I have a 20-point lead, which is great, and now I will try to win the championship in Qatar. I am delighted that we won the WorldSSP Team title in just our first year as an official Yamaha team, plus of course that we helped Yamaha win the Manufacturer's title too."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager
"It has been a fantastic day! We got most of the targets that we aimed for this weekend, not the championship yet, which is the most important, but we took a big step towards that too and we hope to win it in Qatar. Federico has been simply incredible, he and the team worked perfectly all weekend, starting from pole, leading for most of the race, winning and setting a new lap record, I can't ask for anything more! The team did a great job from Friday to give him a fantastic bike and he is very happy with the result and we are very happy for him as well. It was great to lift the Team title here thanks to the efforts of both our riders and of course, more importantly, Yamaha also won the Manufacturer's title! I say thank you very much to Yamaha for giving us fantastic support. We are very grateful to be the official team and to be a part of the Yamaha family. Lucas had an issue with the front tyre, so he didn't take any risks and secured this incredibly important result to extend his championship lead to 20 points with just one race left. Now we will try and win the championship in Qatar to make it a clean sweep of titles for us and Yamaha!"