Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSSP riders Lucas Mahias and Hikari Okubo were part of the leading group at Jerez, finishing sixth and seventh respectively after the sixth round of the WorldSSP championship.
From third place on the starting grid, thanks to a strong Superpole showing, Mahias took the holeshot and led the first two laps, with a pack including his team-mate Okubo in close attendance.
After being passed by three riders in the first half of the race Mahias was still firmly in the leading group, while Okubo's pace quickly dropped off as he experienced vibration from the rear of his machine.
Under sunny skies Mahias hung on to the leading pack for as long as he could but had to settle for a sixth place finish, 5.516 seconds from the race winner Federico Caricasulo. Okubo was only one place behind Mahias, in seventh, but 17 seconds from the win.
In the championship standings Hikari remains fourth, on 59 points, with Lucas seventh on 50 points.
Okubo and Mahias have one free weekend to prepare for the next round, to be held at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli between 21 and 23 June. Today marked the end of the first half of the season, with six rounds remaining.
Lucas Mahias stated: "Again a difficult race but my feelings are strange today. One is positive and the other negative. I think this was my best ride on the bike; every lap on the limit. It was the best result possible right now. If I tried a little bit more for sure I would have crashed. After I dropped back a little it was impossible to improve and come back in the podium at the end. Riding at the front is always good but I want to ride for the win, or to jump on the podium, and I finished sixth. It is disappointing."
Hikari Okubo, stated: "Today started well but it was not a happy race because when I was behind the top group for five laps I could follow them, but after ten laps then I had a problem with my feeling. There was a vibration coming from the rear after the first or second lap. I need to check the data and maybe it was the tyre as it was a new one in a bigger size. There was just too much vibration and the tyres were finished so quickly. My lap times are much improved from two years ago but I was seventh, and we need to get on the podium."
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was unfortunate to encounter a problem with his rear sprocket and that held him back in 13th position. He is ranked 14th in the championship standings. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) lost out on track time in practice and experienced so much chatter in the race that he fell on the second lap. Kyle is still the leader of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup, and 16th overall.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) scored a point for 15th place today but Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) just missed out in 17th position. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) did not finish the race and Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) was forced to enter the pits to retire.