Lucas added his third career WorldSSP race victory in Losail to his first Kawasaki WorldSSP race victory at Magny Cours a month ago to finish his year on a high, before he comes back for more in the 2020 season.
After a sometimes challenging start to the 2019 campaign Lucas has scored six consecutive podiums in the second half of the year, including his two race wins. He has now won three Losail races in succession.
Fears of an impending sandstorm made the organisers swap the starting time of the WorldSSP race with the WorldSSP300 class - so Mahias and his rivals got off the line at 17.15, not the planned 18.15.
Mahias was part of the early leading group for all 15 rescheduled laps. The combative race was held in ambient temperatures of 32°C, despite the race being run in darkness and under floodlights.
Starting the race inside the leading group Hikari was in eighth place, then ninth, before losing grip from his overworked front end set-up. He overtook one final rival three laps from home to score an eighth place finish and gain more valuable championship points.
In the ultimate championship standings Lucas is fourth, on 168 points, Hikari fifth with 105.
Lucas Mahias, stated: “A very good race and I was pushing for the victory. At the beginning it was difficult and I knew I had a better rhythm compared to Jules Cluzel but Corentin Perolari was very hard to overtake. That was difficult. I lost a lot of energy for three laps, because baking hard is not my natural style. When I took first position I had one strategy and that was to push hard so that no other rider could overtake me in the slipstream. I looked back, nobody overtook me and then in the second lap in the lead I pushed very hard again and got a gap of 0.8 seconds. Then I managed the lead. I did not sleep last night because I am not in good condition. I have a stomach problem. I did not eat before the race and in the hot conditions, when I was not feeling 100%, I think I lost a lot of water from my body. But it is OK because we finished the season with a victory.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “It was very difficult today. I knew that this track would be hard but I pushed. Eighth is my position in the race but I know my bike is better. The problem is my riding style which is using too much front while I am pushing hard. If the front drops, I cannot push more. In the corners with little braking it is good, so I need more training to make another step. Thank you so much for everything this season.”
Kyle Smith, the FIM Europe Supersport Cup (ESS) title holder, finished his season with ninth place in Losail, for 15th overall, while Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was tenth today, also finishing tenth overall in the points table.
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) took a final point in the season for 15th in the race and 19th in the final championship reckoning.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 19th and finishes his 2019 season 21st. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 21st today.