Grt Yamaha Riders Shine In Imola Free Practice

GRT Yamaha Riders Shine in Imola Free PracticeGRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team riders Federico Caricasulo and Lucas Mahias got round five of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship off to a flyer at a sunny Imola today. Riding at his home race Caricasulo finished second on the combined timesheets, while his teammate and championship leader Lucas Mahias ended the day in fifth overall.

Caricasulo, still recovering from the shoulder injury he received at Aragon, was quick straight out of the blocks. The Italian dominated FP1, spending most of the session on top of the timesheets and ending in first with a 1:52.103. In FP2 he decided to focus on race setup in a practice that saw multiple red flags as riders were caught out by the hotter conditions. With just a few minutes to go in the session, the 21-year-old had a small lowside at the Tosa hairpin as he was trying to improve his time from the morning, but was unhurt. He ended the day second on the combined timesheets, 0.456s behind Kenan Sofuoglu, and is keen to get back on track tomorrow to continue the work he started today.

Mahias, who leads the championship by 20 points, immediately felt confident on his Yamaha YZF-R6. The French rider was clearly enjoying the technical Imola track and despite not pushing, ended the session in fourth with a 1:52.272. In the afternoon temperatures rose, making the track greasier, so Mahias decided to run a race simulation instead of focusing on a hot lap. This meant he did not improve his lap time from FP1, but it was still good enough for fifth on the combined timesheets and with so much work completed, he is feeling confident ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

The GRT Yamaha Official World SSP riders return to the track for Free Practice 3 tomorrow at 9:20am, with qualifying due to start at 14:00pm local time in Imola.

Federico Caricasulo

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team

“I had a small crash right at the end of the last session, the front just folding on me, but I am happy for the day as I had a good rhythm and was fast. For tomorrow, we have to improve the bike to be faster. We will work on our electronic settings, geometry, and in some corners I need to improve.”

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team

“For the first day, it was not so bad! I finished fifth on the combined timesheets. This morning I didn’t really push, but I still finished in fourth, which is good. In the afternoon, the track got very hot and the lap times were not as good, so I focused on a race simulation. My lap times may not have seemed that quick, but they were very consistent, and I don’t think anyone else’s race pace was quicker. In the final minutes of the session I didn’t go back out after the red flag, as there was some oil on the track and my position was good enough. The target is the top ten and for the moment I am happy. I want to thank Yamaha and my team for all their work, because the bike is getting better race after race.”

Fillippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager

“We are very satisfied! This morning Federico was fastest and he showed how consistent he is by ending the day in second. He is at his home race and that brings a bit of added pressure, but in a way that is good as you can see by his times. He relaxed towards the end of the session a little bit and had a very small crash, but nothing bad. Lucas had a great feeling this morning, in the afternoon he preferred to make along a run as the temperature was more or less the same as it will be for the race. He was very consistent and the lap times were very good. We have to find a little bit more feeling with the rear, as the grip dropped off very quickly. He finished in fifth despite not trying for a fast lap, as we decided it was more important to try and find a good race setup. I am very satisfied with the riders and the team, as they have all done a good job.”