Mahias suffered a fractured metacarpal bone in his right hand when he crashed in the Superpole race at Estoril last month. The injury forced the 33-year-old to miss the final long-distance race of the weekend and he hasn’t fully recovered in time for the Italian round of the championship on June 11-12.
Puccetti called up 2014 Moto2 champion Rabat to take his place at Misano, where satellite team Kawasaki will sport a special ELF livery to mark their home event.
This isn’t the first time Rabat has replaced Mahias, having also replaced him in the final leg of the 2021 WSBK season after the French rider was ruled out with an unrelated wrist injury.
“I am really very happy to be back with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and I thank Manuel and the whole team for trusting me, during their home round as well, which I know is very important. for them,” said Rabat.
“I am very motivated and fully committed. I hope the weather is good and that we can enjoy a weekend that will be difficult but also wonderful. I can’t wait to get back to working with the team, after getting on so well with them last year.
Lucas Mahias, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images
Rabat joined the WSBK grid for the first time at the start of the 2021 season with Barni Ducati after being let go by the now defunct Avintia Ducati team in MotoGP.
Rabat’s stint with satellite team Barni lasted just eight innings before he was unceremoniously dropped by the team midway through the year, although Mahias’ injury meant he was back on. the grid after an absence of only two rounds.
Rabat scored two top 10 finishes in his WSBK rookie campaign, both with Barni Ducati, before scoring a best 11th finish with the Puccetti team.
“In WorldSBK, unfortunately, Lucas Mahias is not yet fully recovered from the injury he suffered at Estoril, and we will replace him with Tito Rabat, who knows the team and the bike having raced with us the last three rounds of last season,” said team principal Manuel Puccetti.
“I am happy and proud to be using the beautiful and historic ELF livery for the first year, which reinforces our collaboration with Total Italia”.