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Championship Leader Mahias Confident ahead of Portimao

Championship Leader Mahias Confident ahead of Portimao

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The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are focused and ready to get back on track at Portimao this weekend for the round nine of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship. Having completed a recent two-day test at the track, championship leader Lucas Mahias is feeling confident he can hit the ground running on Friday.

Mahias (121 points) heads to Portimao with a one-point lead in the championship standings over his rival Kenan Sofuoglu, after finishing in third at the Lausitzring in the red-flagged race. The 28-year-old French rider was battling for the lead when he was taken out by his teammate's bike during the race, in the incident that brought out the red flag, but showed quick thinking to return to the pits within the time limit to secure his sixth podium of the season. The team's recent test at the track means that Mahias will arrive in Portimao confident with the base setup of his Yamaha R6 and ready to take the title fight to his rivals.

The Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round takes place at the iconic Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, as the WorldSBK championship returns to the track after a year's absence. The circuit is located in the Algarve region in Southern Portugal and is known for its challenging layout, which includes a mix of fast sweeping turns and slower hairpins, incredible elevation changes, and a 970m long start/finish straight. Opened in 2008, it held its first WorldSBK round that year and is 4,592m in length, with 6 left and 8 right-handed corners.

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team hit the track on Friday at 11am local time for FP1, with Saturday's qualifying starting at midday, and Sunday's 18-lap race also scheduled for midday.

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st - 121 points

"I am feeling confident to start this weekend in Portimao, it is a track I really like! After the recent test we did, I have a very good feeling with my R6 on the track and feel we have found a good base setup. It's funny, I remember the track at Portimao as being quite bumpy, but after riding at the Lausitzring and then coming here for the test, it honestly felt like a pool table in comparison! Right now, I am not really feeling any stress. I am not thinking about the championship, I am just focusing on each race at a time, and I want to go out and win!"

Filippo Conti

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team Manager

"We had a two-day test at Portimao and it went really well. Both of our riders know the track well, but it was good to get them out on the R6 and getting used to the track on the bike. We didn't have anything new to test so we could just focus on working on each rider's setup. The track is rather unique, so it was good to test as we can hopefully arrive on Friday with a good base setting and focus on our race-pace for Sunday. The lap times were good from both riders and we feel confident for the weekend ahead. The riders are full of confidence and the R6 works well at the track. Lausitzring was a very strange race for us, we could have had a double podium, but everyone knows what happened and racing is racing! So, for Portimao we are ready, the settings, the bike and our riders are raring to go. The aim for Lucas is to try and get the best result and to maintain his championship lead.