GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Federico Caricasulo scored his first 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship race win with the all-new YZF-R6 after a dramatic 17-lap World SSP race at the Chang International Circuit. In the second round of the series, in a race that featured very high track and air temperatures, teammate Lucas Mahias looked set for a podium finish of his own but experienced a technical issue early on and had to retire. Two other Yamaha R6 machines scored podium finishes, in the hands of wildcard Decha Kraisart and privateer Niki Tuuli.
Intense heat in the build up to the WorldSSP race led to intense competition on track, in a race where three Yamahas finally completed the top three podium positions.
Starting from seventh place and the third row of the grid Caricasulo continued his upward trend of improving competitiveness through the weekend right into the race itself. Involved in a fight or the podium from the very first lap, he took the lead on lap 11, after long time leader Jules Cluzel retired, then never looked back in his determination to win after his first round no-score in Australia.
In only its second race, the new R6 powered Caricasulo to his first win at this level of competition, and put Yamaha on top of the Manufacturers' Championship standings after two rounds.
Having completed a positive race simulation and being fully prepared for a long race, Phillip Island podium finisher Mahias had to stop after three laps had been completed.
In the Riders' Championship Caricasulo is now third and teammate Mahias is in sixth place, tied on points with Chang runner-up Kraisart.
The podium places were dominated by one new model R6 and two previous variants. Decha Kraisart from the Yamaha Thailand Racing team was second, just 0.793 seconds from the win. Kallio Racing Yamaha's Nikki Tuuli, having survived a massive early highside that saw him swerve dramatically across the track, composed himself and caught up to third place at the flag, 3.164 seconds down on Caricasulo's winning pace.
After two long haul races the WorldSSP riders now go to Europe, and the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, with raceday on April 2nd.
Federico CaricasuloGRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team rider
I am so happy because today I made a very good race from the first to the last lap. On the final lap I made a little gap from my competitors. The conditions were very hard so I am happy to win here. It is very important now to continue all the races like this, fighting for wins, if I want to take a good place in the championship at the end. All weekend, after the experience of not finishing in Australia I worked to make sure I would be able to make good lap times all race long, and in all conditions. I did it like this and we won. I want to thank Yamaha and all in my GRT team who worked well on the weekend to find a good set-up for my bike after a difficult start.
Lucas MahiasGRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team rider
I had a technical problem and had to stop. Obviously I am not happy because for me it was possible to win the race. I had a good lap time in qualifying and had set good lap times during my simulation of the race. The season is long, I know, but these were a lot of points to lose. I will look to the next round in Aragon for a better result.