‘Disaster, budget drain’- Puccetti benches Mahias... but signs for 2022 WorldSBK

Puccetti Kawasaki might have had its fill of crash-happy Lucas Mahias for the remainder of the season but he will still be on the ZX-10RR for 2022 WorldSBK

Lucas Mahias - Puccetti Kawasaki
Lucas Mahias - Puccetti Kawasaki

Lucas Mahias is set to remain with the Puccetti Kawasaki squad for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship season despite a rather damning assessment of his 2021 performance by his team manager, which has contributed to him being benched for the remainder of the year.

The Frenchman - Endurance World Champion in 2016 and WorldSSP Champion in 2017 - made his full-time WorldSBK debut in 2021 with the satellite Puccetti Kawasaki squad after stepping up from the 600cc class.

Amid flashes of pace - particularly in qualifying where he is regularly seen shadowing Jonathan Rea - Mahias has endured both a bruising campaign for himself and an expensive one for the Italian team, with ‘two crashes at least every weekend’ according to manager Manuel Puccetti.

Indeed, Mahias has been involved in some high-profile scrapes in 2021, including at Assen when he broke his scaphoid, while he was a factor in accidents last weekend in Barcelona that have sidelined Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies for Jerez this weekend (he was only responsible for the latter incident).

With Mahias still not entirely back to full fitness and Puccetti mindful of a drain on its resources and mechanics, the decision was taken for him to step down for the final four rounds.

“He crashes at least twice every weekend, that's an absolute disaster for us,” said Puccetti. “It is a drain on our budget, it really is a disaster. That's why I asked him last weekend in Barcelona to change his approach. 

“He's a rookie in this class and he doesn't need to dream that he can drive on the same level as Johnny Rea. He should stop chasing after him in every session, that also puts him under pressure. He has enough problems himself and has to make sure that he stays in the fight for the title. 

“Lucas has to set realistic goals and achieve them step by step. He cannot keep pushing and falling over the limit. This is a complete disaster for our team, the mechanics and the budget.

And yet despite this less than glowing review, Puccetti looks set to retain Mahias for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship season, rebuffing the attentions of the team’s WorldSSP front runner Philipp Oettl.

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