WorldSBK Australia. Lucas Mahias P7, Philipp Öttl P14

25 February 2024

Race resume

It was a troubled weekend for the World Superbike Championship. The resurfaced track offered no respite for the tires, which were in dire straits across all brands. The Australian championship races were shortened to 11 laps due to tyre rips of all brands.

World Superbike was no exception, and race management decided that competitors would complete no more than 11 laps by implementing the “flag to flag” procedure. This procedure obliges riders to stop in the pits mid-race to change tires.

Despite this safety precaution, Lucas Mahias and other rideres suffered the same problem as mentioned above, returning a torn rear tire in Race 1.

In Race 2, Lucas Mahias had to deal with a disrupted schedule due to track conditions that did not allow riders to run in complete safety. After lengthy work by the stewards to clear the track, Lucas Mahias was able to take his place on the starting grid for a race shortened to 9 laps. Even though the French rider started from 11th position following his mishap the previous day, the number 94 immediately got into the rhythm with lap times close to the race lead. Relayed 5 seconds from 4th place at the start of the race, the 2017 World Supersport Champion made up 4 seconds and finished a satisfying 7th, one second behind 4th. A performance and times that give him confidence for the next meeting in Catalonia.

In Superbike Philipp Öttl knew he had to set the pace right away, starting from 18th position. After a good start, the GMT94 rider soon found himself in 15th position, enough to hope for a good result in Race 2. But just before the halfway mark, when he was 14th, a red flag stopped the Yamaha rider in his tracks. The 2nd start was not as promising, and the GMT94 rider had to work hard to make up the three seconds separating him from his closest rival, former British champion Bradley Ray (Moto X). Phillip Öttl finished 14th. Everyone was hoping for better after practices that saw him in the top 10 on numerous occasions (P9 in FP3), but the German rider can be proud of his performance.

In less than a month’s time, the GMT 94 riders will be in Barcelona for the next round of the World Superbike Championship. The whole team wishes Jonathan Rea a speedy recovery following his crash in Superbike 2.

Philipp Oettl (GER) GMT94 Yamaha Yamaha R1 Superbike WSBK Australia 2024 (Circuit Phillip Island) 23-25.02.2024 photo: Mateusz Jagielski www.photoPSP.com @mj_photogp

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