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2 Maj 2023

Lucas Mahias to replace Can Öncü at Barcelona

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Öncü will be unable to compete in the upcoming Supersport World Championship round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain following his race 2 accident at Assen.

Manuel Puccetti’s team has taken the decision to field Lucas Mahias as a substitute rider. Born in Mont de Marsan, France, on 14 April 1989, Mahias raced in many categories before being crowned Supersport World Champion in 2017. The following year saw him join Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, where he remained for four seasons. In 2019, he competed in WorldSSP and finished fourth overall thanks to two wins and six podiums on the Ninja ZX-6R. The following year, in the same championship, the Frenchman placed second with two wins and eight podiums. In 2021, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing promoted Lucas to WorldSBK, where he raced for two seasons but was unable to achieve the desired results, due in part to a series of injuries that limited his performance.

As for WorldSBK, the last Assen round saw Kawasaki Puccetti Racing solve the problems that had been preventing Tom Sykes from maximizing the potential of his Ninja ZX-10RR and this meant that the Englishman finished race 2 inside the points zone. The aim for Barcelona is to continue along the path traced in Holland.
The full schedule for the Spanish round is available at this link:
Manuel Puccetti
“We warmly welcome Lucas back to our team. He will compete in the WorldSSP practices and races using Öncü's bike and we’re sure he’ll find that it is much improved compared to the bike he used three years ago, in terms of the electronics, power and general performance. I think this is a real opportunity for Mahias to show what he can do and fight for some strong results. My thoughts are with Öncü of course, and we hope he can recover from his injuries and be back with us as soon as possible. As for Superbike, I believe the Assen round represented a turning point in our season. Having solved the technical problems that affected us in the previous races, we can now turn the page and aim for constant improvement starting already from the Barcelona round.”
 Lucas Mahias
“Firstly, I want to say how sorry I am that Öncü  is injured. I fully understand what he’s going through because my last seasons were plagued with injury, so I wish him a speedy return to the saddle. I’m very pleased to be back with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and to be able to compete in WorldSSP again. That said, I’ve since spent two years in another category and so I’ll have to adapt my riding style to the Ninja ZX-6R fast. It’s a joy to be part of the Puccetti family once more. I spent the key years of my career with this team, and I also thank Kawasaki for giving me the opportunity. The Barcelona track is one of my favourites and the last time I raced there, back in 2020, I scored two second place finishes. Let’s see what I can do this time.”
Tom Sykes:
“I’m very excited and motivated to go to Catalunya. It’s a circuit that I really enjoy riding and of course I have some mixed emotions going there. I think I have the track record but I also had quite a bad accident there. So I’m keen to put that behind me, and I’m looking forward to really riding the track with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing bike. It’s a track I really like, as I’ve said, and I hope we can understand more about our bike and make the breakthrough that Manuel and the whole team deserve.”