Former World Champion and proven race winner twice last year on his Kawasaki, Mahias has enjoyed his recent experiences in the Italian CIV Championship round at Misano World Circuit, winning two races as a preparation to take on the world again.
Because Lucas was taking part in a one-off event, by way of preparing for the forthcoming restart to the interrupted WorldSSP championship season, he was not credited with points or a podium ceremony for last weekend’s Misano CIV wins, despite crossing the line first in each tough race.
Frenchman Mahias, World Champion in 2017, has scored seven WorldSSP wins across his career, part of a total of 21 podiums in the middleweight class. In the opening round at Phillip Island back in early march, Lucas placed fifth.
Also present at Misano for the CIV round was WorldSSP new man Öttl. He duly reached the top six on each occasion in Italy. Having qualified sixth in Australia way back in round one Philipp no scored in the actual race, making him particularly keen to post two strong results at Jerez.
Öttl knows the 4.423km long circuit well after his many experiences inside the Grand Prix paddock, and tested his Kawasaki there before the start of the 2020 season.
In a change to the usual race weekend, the WorldSSP600 class will have not one but two full 17-lap races, one on Saturday 1 August and one on Sunday 2 August. This initiative was brought in to ensure that there would be a great enough number of races to conclude the full season after losing so many scheduled rounds to the recent Corona virus pandemic.
After Jerez the entire WorldSBK paddock will head west to Portugal, with another two WorldSSP races on the weekend schedule of the Portimao round, to be held from 7 to 9 August.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “The two CIV races at Misano helped me to get back into the race rhythm, but I can’t wait to get back on my bike and race at Jerez, a track I enjoy. I’m pleased that we’re back racing in the world championship and my only worry is that it’s going to be very hot. I watched the MotoGP racing which took place at the same track just a few days ago and looking at the riders’ faces, I realise it’s going to be tough.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “I know the Jerez track very well and am pleased to be racing there again. After the Misano CIV races, I feel ready to get back to the world championship and work with my team to find good feeling with my Ninja ZX-6R as soon as possible. We’ll compete in two races in two days, but we did the same in the CIV and so I’m not worried. What worries me more is the heat we’ll have in Spain, but we’re all in the same boat and so I’ll give it my all, as always, to score the best possible result.”
Convincing WorldSSP300 champion in 2019, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) will arrive in Jerez for his two races in eighth place in the championship standings, after impressing during his first race at this level in Australia.
Another promising young talent, Can Öncü (Turkish Puccetti Racing) is also a new Kawasaki WorldSSP rider for 2020, operating from within the overall Puccetti set-up. He was 11th at the PI opener.