Philip Island (Australia): India`s first World Superbike team, Mahi Racing made a strong start to its World Supersport Championship campaign with its riders - Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret - claiming second and third spots respectively on the starting grid for tomorrow`s inaugural race of the season here.
Both the riders of Mahi Racing, which made its debut in the World Supersport Championship last year, are strong contenders to take the chequered flag tomorrow.
Three-time champion Sofuoglu cut about half a second from his yesterday`s best lap timing to take second position clocking 1:33.157s, while Foret bettered his timing by almost a second to clock 1:33.721s.
Foret had suffered some technical problems and was down to the 12th spot after the first qualifying. But the Frenchman made a strong comeback today and faced no problem in climbing up the grid.
After the race a much-relieved Foret said, "The competitive approach that we show as a team helps us to better our timing every time we are out there. Hopefully, both me and Kenan can better our performance and aim for a pole finish tomorrow."
In today`s qualifying session, the pole went to Sam Lowes of Yakhnich Motorsports Yamaha, who had clocked 1:32.545s in yesterday`s qualifying session, and the new track record was enough for him to take the pole position on the starting grid.
However, the riders of Mahi Racing are confident of turning the table on Lowes tomorrow.
"We were solid throughout the qualifying session and the bike (Kawasaki ZX-6R) performed fantastically over the two days," said Sofuoglu.
Chairman and Managing Director of the Mahi Racing, Arun Pandey expressed happiness over the performance of his team and said they were looking forward to their first race day.
"We have done extremely well in the first official testing and also in the qualifying. Now we are looking forward to the race and I am sure we would be in contention for the podium finish tomorrow," he said.