Mahias, the 2017 FIM Supersport World Champion, was once again fully in the fight for the win today, overcoming a lack of feel in the early part of the race. He pushed hard to try and win the race outright as his pace improved but eventual winner Jules Cluzel had built up too much of an advantage and Mahias was ranked second by just 2.406 seconds.
For Okubo the 19-lap race, held in relatively cool conditions, was a difficult one as he felt a strong vibration from the rear of his machine. This held back his pace in the early laps and his motivation in the closing laps.
After a challenging weekend all round Mahias is fourth overall, with 143 championship points, while Okubo remains fifth, with 97 points.
After relocating from Argentina the 2019 competitors will finish their competitive action under the floodlights, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. The final race will be held on Saturday 26th October.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “The race was nice. When I started out I did not have a good feeling because in practice and qualifying the feeling was not so nice. I was a little bit slow then but maybe because I did not follow the other riders during the sessions. In the race I looked at the other riders and I understood some little points of the track to go faster. Finally, in the middle of the race, I was very fast. I pushed to try and get into first position but it was not possible. A good race and also good for Kawasaki, so I am happy.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “Today’s race was so difficult because I had a problem with a big vibration from the start of the second lap on. When I picked up the bike going onto the straight it was vibrating so I could not push harder. I could not keep my motivation in the race. I do not know why we had this vibration from the rear. We are looking again to Qatar.”
Team-mates Kyle Smith and Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) tussled in the first corner but pushed on inside the early leading group, until the laps counted down and they lost touch with the leaders. Kyle was ninth and Ayrton tenth. In the overall championship, Ayrton is still tenth and Kyle now 15th.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) placed 18th, and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) 21st, neither scoring championship points. In the rankings, with one race to go, van Straalen is 20th and Hartog 21st.