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4 Märts 2023

Öncü Takes His First WorldSSP Win

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Öncü took his first FIM Supersport World Championship win with a virtuoso front-running performance in the opening race of the Mandalika weekend.

Having qualified on the front row in third position after Superpole even the worrying arrival of some rain just before the start didn’t faze Öncü. He took the lead on lap one and controlled the pace all the way to the chequered flag.

The rain quickly moved on and the slick tyre choice from all the WorldSSP riders proved to be the optimum one.

Can was finally 3.305 seconds ahead of second place rider Federico Caricasulo at the end of a tense but ultimately victorious 18-laps of the 4.3km long Mandalika circuit.

This was the first win for a Ninja ZX-6R rider since Yari Montella secured the opening race victory at the final round of the 2022 season, also for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, at Phillip Island.

Öncü’s first career WorldSSP race win was his lucky 13th podium finish in WorldSSP and his big 25 points score propelled him into second place in the overnight points standings. Race Two is still to come in Indonesia, on Sunday 5 March.

Can Öncü, stated: “Today was incredible. I was just thinking to push as hard as I could every lap from the start and I saw a gap opening up behind. So, I kept pushing. An incredible race and so much fun. I want to say big thanks to Kawasaki, Puccetti Racing, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Kenan Sofuoglu. They have always been with me and I hope to continue this form and have a good result in Race Two on Sunday. Thanks for everything and thanks to Mandalika.”

John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) qualified 11th and then raced to a points scoring position of tenth place, despite a less than ideal launch off the startline.

Stand-in rider for the injured Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki), Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto, was 16th in the opening race, just missing a points scoring finish.