The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team is pleased to announce that Lucas Mahias has joined its Supersport team and will thus be team-mate to the already confirmed Hikari Okubo.
Mahias was born in Mont de Marsan in France on 14 April 1989. Having debuted in the Moto2 world championship in 2013, the following year, in addition to being crowned French Supersport champion, he competed in the same category of the world series. In 2015, he continued on in the 600 world championship, reaching the podium at his home round of Magny Cours. The following season saw the versatile Frenchman competing in three categories: the world Endurance championship, the Superbike World Championship and the Superstock 1000 championship, in which he won the Misano and Magny Cours races.
2017 brought the ultimate confirmation when Lucas was crowned Supersport world champion, while this season he placed second in the overall standings.
Such a successful and talented rider could only end up with team Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, a squad that has played a starring role in the Supersport category for many years, scoring the world title in both 2015 and 2016.
Mahias joins Manuel Puccetti’s team on a one-year contract, with an option for Lucas if he were to move up to Superbike and an automatic renewal if he were to win the Supersport title.
The French rider has already had chance to test Puccetti Racing’s Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, during a two-day test held at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit on 26-27 November. Mahias proved to be comfortable with both his bike and his new team. In preparation for the opening round at Phillip Island, the test schedule foresees two additional sessions in January, at the Jerez and Portimao racetracks.
Manuel Puccetti – Team Principal: “It’s a pleasure and an honour to welcome a champion such as Lucas Mahias to our team. We want to give him another opportunity to win a Supersport title. I think that he is the rider that most deserves to race with what was the bike of five-time world champion Kenan Sofuoglu. I’m pleased that Hikari Okubo will remain with us for a second consecutive year and I’m sure that he can put his 2018 experience into good use, taking another step up in quality to be a consistent top-five contender. The Jerez tests confirmed the quality of our bikes and riders and, also in light of the new regulation, I am sure that we will able to fight for the Supersport title, which remains our main goal. As for the Superbike championship, with one year of experience under his belt, I think Toprak Razgatlioglu will be even more competitive. I therefore expect not just podium places, something he already achieved in 2018, but also race wins”.
Lucas Mahias: “I’m very happy to be a part of team Kawasaki Puccetti Racing. After having spent many years with the same manufacturer, I needed new motivation and couldn’t have ended up in a better place, considering that Kawasaki and team Puccetti are as keen as I am to win the world title. During the Jerez tests, I was reminded of my previous battles with Sofuoglu and now that I’ve ridden the Ninja ZX-6R, I understand why Kenan was so competitive. The bike already performs well, but we still have a lot of work to do with many things to test. I cannot wait to get back on track for testing at Jerez and Portimao, to continue our set up work in order to be ready for Phillip Island”.
Hikari Okubo: “I’m really pleased to stay with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team in 2019. The 2018 season was not an easy one for me, but it allowed me to gain experience and learn more about the bike and my rivals, so I’m optimistic about next year. I want to aim to run at the front each weekend and know this is not an impossible dream. It won’t be easy of course, but I know I can count on team Puccetti and its professional staff. I’m highly motivated and want to give it my all in every race. Thanks to Kawasaki, the sponsors and my whole team”.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “Staying with team Kawasaki Puccetti Racing is definitely the best thing for me. My debut season in Superbike was difficult but positive, also thanks to my team, always ready to help me. In 2019, I want to continue to grow and take another step up in terms of quality. I cannot wait to get going with the next tests and then round one at Phillip Island, the first in a season that promises to be very important for my career”.