The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

30 September 2018

Top Ten For Hikari And Hector

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Hikari Okubo and Hector Barbera finished ninth and tenth respectively at the French round of the WorldSSP Championship, after 19 intense laps of the Magny Cours circuit.

Having qualified seventh Okubo stayed in that position on lap one but he and Barbera finally got involved in the three rider fight after Hector had moved up from his 15th qualifying place.
The end of the race was a close three-way fight between eighth place finisher Kyle Smith and the Kawasaki duo, with all three crossing the line within half a second of each other. 
Barbera made improvements to some of his best pace even during the race as he gets used to both the WorldSBK class itself and his Kawasaki machine.
In the championship fight, Okubo is 13th, and Barbera moved up to 19th after just two races inside the WorldSSP paddock.
The next round for the WorldSSP riders will be at the all new El Villicum Circuit in Argentina for round 11, to be held between the 12th and the 14th of October.
Hikari Okubo, stated: “I am not that happy because my target was to finish inside the top sixth but I got ninth. We need to make some more good work and this is my position now. I need more good training and another way of thinking, so that for the last two races I can push harder.”
Hector Barbera stated: “Today’s race was better than Portimao. My best lap in the race was one second faster than the one I did in qualifying. Every day I get faster and I improve, so my feeling with the bike increases. We are not that far away from the first, and the gap is decreasing. I would like to thank the team because together we are doing a great job! It is not easy doing four races all on new tracks, so I need some time to get used to everything. Now I am starting to like this bike, it is becoming more my bike, thanks to the modifications we are doing. We still miss something to make the best result but the next race, which will be new for everyone, we will be easier for us.”
Christian Stange (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) was 16th at Magny Cours, one place ahead of newly crowned FIM Europe Supersport Cup champion Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer). Now 16th in the overall rankings Hartog won today despite just missing out on a championship point.
Wayne Tessels (Chromeburner Wayne’s Racingteam MTM) was 19th in France, Javier Ezequiel Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 20th and Kevin van Leuven (EAB Antwest Racing Kawasaki) 22nd. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 24th.