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22 August 2021

Öttl Top Six After Strong Sunday Race

Philipp Öttl took his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Ninja ZX-6R to sixth place in Race Two at the Circuito de Navarra after finding a fresh race set-up in morning warm-up. Can Öncü was a faller in an eventful race, in which he was finally forced to retire.

With one rider on the front row finally ruled out of Race Two with a shoulder injury all the riders behind moved up one place for the start of the second WorldSSP Race.

This grid line-up change placed Öttl on a different side of the 3.933km long track for the green light and he did not make the gains he hoped for into the first corners. He used his better machine set-up to ride confidently and end up sixth. A red flag was shown to halt the race after 15 laps, not the planned 20.

Öncü, starting from a long way back on the grid after his 24th place in qualifying, was 13th on lap one but then he tangled with another rider, and both crashed at Turn Three.

Can got going again, then had to stop for a time, before restarting. His bodywork, damaged in the crash, would eventually fall off in dramatic fashion and he would enter the pits to retire.

At a new WorldSSP circuit that was expected to pose a challenge to Öttl and his machine the hard work and continual search for improvements saw Philipp score well in each race, with the ten points he got for sixth place today allowing him to remain third overall. He now has 156 points - six more than the next closest rider.

Can remains in ninth place in the championship still, now with 66 points to his credit.

A well-known racetrack for most riders, Magny Cours in France, is the venue for the next WorldSSP round, between 3-5 September.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “I did not start so well because it seems the outside line is better for the first corner - but I do not complain because I started one position better than yesterday! I was tenth at the beginning but I knew we would be better because we made a change in the bike from yesterday, and then again after warm-up today. Finally for the race we found a bike set-up which was competitive and I could overtake other riders. I was coming through the field and we found a bike that gave us ten points on a track that I thought we could only make another seventh or eighth position. To finish sixth maybe seems like not a bit deal but I am happy because we found a bike set-up that works. We struggled all weekend but if we started with the bike we have now, it would have been even better.”

Can Öncü, stated: “We need to look positively at today. We passed many riders in the first laps and we were ready to go more in front but unluckily we crashed. It is not so good of course but we have to still look on the positive side because we did a big step forward this weekend. After qualifying we did incredible lap times in the races so this is very positive for myself.”

Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was a positive ninth place finisher today, and is tenth overall.

Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) placed 18th in the second race at Navarra. He was the top ‘WorldSSP Challenge’ rider, competing in the European-based rounds of the championship only. Michel Fabrizio (GAP Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was 20th today. Michel is 25th in the overall championship rankings. Hikari Okubo (GAP Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) crashed, restarted, but then had to retire in the pits.