French rider Lucas Mahias was able to put Championship leader Andrea Locatelli in the early stages of the race but finished a “comfortable” second
Despite the dominance of Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) in FIM Supersport World Championship, the Pirelli Teruel Round was full of twists and turns, with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) battling with Locatelli in the early part of the race at MotorLand Aragon.
Mahias started the weekend strongly after qualifying in fifth place in Tissot Superpole despite having his best lap time deleted for a yellow flag infringement. He converted this starting position in Race 1 to a fourth-place finish, finishing more than four seconds back from Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) in third.
It was a different story in Race 2 as Mahias ran in fourth place before gaining two positions when Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ran into the back of Cluzel; taking both out of the race. Mahias would run close to Locatelli during the first six laps before the Italian rider, who has won every race with the fastest lap in 2020, pulled out a gap to claim his ninth victory.
Reacting to the Race 2 podium, Mahias said: “There was a crash in front of me and I gained places, but I think at the beginning I already had the pace for this group. After the crash I tried to stay with Locatelli because I could not keep that pace alone and I really pushed for six or seven laps. But it was not possible to ride for all 15 laps in this condition. One time I would lose the front, then lose two tenths.
“If I lost three tenths in one lap it was impossible to come back to Andrea. I realised I had a big gap back to the riders behind and I thought ‘OK, second is a good position for the team’ because we have been off the podium recently while they have been working very hard all the time. I reduced the pace and finished second. That is a good position for me too as sometimes we have to push hard for fourth or fifth position. Today was a little bit more comfortable at the end.”
Mahias will be reunited with his WorldSSP counterparts in two weeks at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a circuit which will make its first appearance on the calendar, providing an additional challenge for teams and riders as they learn the circuit on WorldSSP machinery.
Relive the Pirelli Round of Teruel and enjoy the entire WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass.