Supersport

Sandro Cortese

2018 FIM Supersport World Champion

Born on 6 January 1990 in Ochsenhausen, Germany

SANDRO DOES IT IN STYLE

Sandro Cortese (Yamaha) added the FIM Supersport World Championship title to the FIM Moto3 World Championship he claimed in 2012, after a season of unerring consistency in the 600cc class. The German rider moved to production bike racing after a long career in the Grand Prix paddock - which started in the 125cc class in 2005 before progressing to Moto3 and then five years spent in the Moto2 class that wielded three podium finishes - and he brought his experience, speed, racing talent and fighting spirit, to ensure fans were entertained to the very last lap of the season.

Cortese started his rookie season in the class with a podium at Phillip Island in a race won by defending champion Lucas Mahias (Yamaha), with the Frenchman taking second behind Randy Krummenacher (Yamaha) in round two in Thailand to share the early championship lead with the Swiss rider. However, as both Mahias and Krummenacher struggled for consistency, victories for Cortese at Aragon and Donington and Jules Cluzel (Yamaha) at Assen, Imola and Brno saw the German and the Frenchman move clear at the top.

There was controversy at Portimao when a collision between the pair ended with Cluzel on the ground and empty-handed, but the Frenchman bounced back with consecutive wins at Magny-Cours and Argentina, where Cortese was second on both occasions, to set up a final-round decider with five points between them in Qatar.

A dramatic race that almost didn’t go ahead because of a bizarre rainstorm in the afternoon, saw Cortese and Cluzel regularly trade places at the front, but when Mahias made a move for the lead the German used all his racecraft to keep the pressure on his title rival, who needed the win. Eventually Cluzel cracked and a front-end crash with just three laps to go secured a hard-earned championship for Cortese, whilst a third win for Mahias moved him ahead of his compatriot in the final standings.

After Jörg Teuchert in 2000, Sandro becomes only the second German to win the FIM Supersport World Championship.

PALMARES

2 World Titles – Moto3 in 2012, Supersport in 2018

Lucas Mahias

2017 FIM Supersport World Champion

Born 14 April 1989, Mont-de-Marsan, France

MAHIAS MASTERS THE MIDDLEWEIGHTS

Lucas Mahias (Yamaha) finally crossed the line at the Losail International Circuit as the 2017 FIM Supersport World Champion at the end of a rollercoaster season in the 600cc category. Mahias found a home in the middleweight class of production racing after impressing in various different championships in 2016, particularly in the FIM EWC, where he won the team and riders' titles. The Frenchman showed his versatility from the first round of this campaign, finishing second after a scintillating battle for the win at Phillip Island. 

After a DNF in Thailand he secured his debut victory in the series by just 0.014s ahead of Sheridan Morais (Yamaha) at MotorLand Aragon and a string of three second positions swiftly followed, ensuring Mahias clung on to the series lead despite a resurgent Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) returning from injury in style with four straight wins after missing the opening two rounds and crashing in the third. 

A crash for Mahias at Misano saw his advantage slashed to just five points with five rounds remaining and even a return to the podium in Lausitzring and Portimao could not prevent the Turk from taking over at the top. However, there was more drama in store for Sofuoglu, who crashed at Magny-Cours and suffered a triple fracture to his hip. And despite another heroic return from the Kawasaki man to set up a tense final-round decider in Qatar, Mahias made sure of the title with another breathtaking win by just 0.023 seconds over compatriot Jules Cluzel (Honda).
 

2016 FIM Endurance World Champion

GOLDEN FINISH FOR MAHIAS

Lucas Mahias clinched the riders' title in the 2016 FIM Endurance World Championship in an unusual fashion thanks to a strange twist of fate that saw him switch teams after one round. The 27-year-old Frenchman started the season on a Suzuki with Team R2CL, helping them to fourth place at the Le Mans 24 Hours race. However, after GMT94 Yamaha parted company with Louis Rossi ahead of the second round in Portimão, they moved to re-sign their former rider to join forces with Niccolò Canepa and David Checa.

Whilst the factory-backed Yamaha effort ultimately missed out on the Teams' world title by a single point to SERT in that thrilling final round at the Oschersleben 8 Hours, there was a golden lining to the cloud as Mahias claimed the individual honours; that fourth place finish for Team R2CL at Le Mans, ahead of SERT in fifth and his future teammates, who failed to finish, providing him with the extra points that made the difference.

Mahias' colourful career, which includes a handful of starts in Moto2, an appearance on a World Superbike at Assen in 2016 and a podium at his home World Supersport round of Magny-Cours in 2015, has now also secured him an FIM gold medal!

PALMARES

World title - 2016

Kenan Sofuoğlu

2016 FIM Supersport World Champion

Born on 25 August 1984 in Akyazi, Turkey

KING KENAN

Kenan Sofuoğlu (Kawasaki) further consolidated his position as the most successful rider in the history of the FIM Supersport Championship with his fifth title in the category in 2016. The 32-year-old took on all comers on his trusty ZX-6R, fighting off an early challenge from new team-mate Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki), the Swiss former Grand Prix rider making a stunning debut in the class with victory at the opening round at Phillip Island, and more familiar rivals such as PJ Jacobsen (Honda) and Jules Cluzel (MV Augusta). Sofuoğlu's slip-off in Australia proved to be nothing but a minor setback, however, as the Turkish rider reeled off four consecutive podiums, including wins at Aragon and Imola, to firmly establish himself as the man to beat once again.

Whilst Krummenacher and Jacobsen struggled for consistency and Cluzel encountered some insurmountable mechanical issues, there were wins in mixed conditions for Kyle Smith (Honda) and Ayrton Badovini (Honda) at Assen and Sepang before a run of three straight victories for Sofuoğlu put him within touching distance of the championship. After sliding off in an unnecessary attempt to take the title with a sixth win of the season at Magny Cours, Sofuoğlu was able to do exactly that in the next round at Jerez, where Krummenacher crashed out to finally relieve the pressure on the now five-time World Champion.

PALMARES

5 Supersport World titles (2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)