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Mahias Enjoys Perfect Start in WorldSSP in Qatar

Mahias Enjoys Perfect Start in WorldSSP in Qatar

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Free practice

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Lucas Mahias got off to a superb start in the hot and humid conditions at the crucial final round of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship in Qatar. Under the floodlights in the desert, the man who leads the championship by 20 points topped the overall timesheets by 0.412s as he blitzed the opposition into submission to get a crucial weekend started in the best possible fashion.

Mahias arrived in Qatar knowing that finishing tenth or better in Saturday's race will guarantee him the 2017 WorldSSP Championship. After a superb ride to fourth at the last round in Jerez, despite suffering with an issue with his front tyre, the 28-year-old French rider had been feeling nervous in the build-up to the weekend but as soon as he hit the track the Losail International Circuit on Thursday afternoon he immediately settled into doing what he does best. With the sun setting during FP1, he set a 2:02.815 to finish in second as he got used to the dusty track conditions that can affect the early sessions in Qatar, due to sand blowing in from the desert. The floodlights were on for FP2 and with the track conditions having improved, he got his head down and went for it, improving his time from FP1 by almost 1.5s as he put in a stunning 2:01.316 lap at the end of the session on his Yamaha R6 to finish on top of the overall timesheets, with a margin of over four-tenths of a second over the nearest rider. Mahias will now aim to improve even more on Friday to secure the best possible start position for the championship-deciding race on Saturday.

The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team are back in action on Friday in Qatar at 17:00 local time for Free Practice 3, with SP2 scheduled to start at 19:55 pm at the Losail International Circuit.

Lucas Mahias

GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - 1st - 2:01.316

"I feel really good after today! I have been feeling quite stressed since Jerez, as this is the first time I have been in this position in the championship. I have probably been overthinking things, so the best solution for me was just to go out and push a lot. Obviously, during the race, I will ride with my head but I really enjoyed today's practice as I could just go out and ride without any pressure. Finishing in P1, with the pace we have shown, is a good start to the weekend!"