The first race of the Supersport World Championship played out today at Phillip Island in Australia. In yesterday’s free practices, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Oncu worked hard with his team to find the best setup for his ZX-6R. His best lap time was a 1’33”975, which saw him close in sixth place in the day’s combined standings.
This morning, and in very cloudy conditions, the young Turk prepared for the first Superpole of the season. In the final stages, Oncu returned to the pits to put in a new tyre and, once back on track, was able to set a fantastic 1’33’058 to finish second, which meant a front row start for the afternoon’s first 18-lap race.
The first race got underway on a dry track but under heavy clouds. Oncu didn’t make the best start and was lying in around tenth place through the opening laps but then made an incredible recovery that saw him move into first place. The race was brought to a halt on lap four due to a crash for other riders. The race was restarted, reduced to just ten laps, but unfortunately the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider fell victim to a crash during the sighting lap that damaged his bike and prevented him from starting the race.
He will have chance to make up for this in tomorrow’s second race, which will again run at the Phillip Island circuit.
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Supersport World Championship
Superpole: 1) Manzi (Yamaha) – 2) Oncu (Kawasaki) – 3) Montella (Ducati) – 4) Bulega (Ducati) – 5) Spinelli (Yamaha) – 6) Schroetter (MV Agusta)
Race 1 1) Bulega (Ducati) – 2) Spinelli (Yamaha) – 3) McPhee (Kawasaki) – 4) Tuuli (Triumph) – 5) Mackenzie (Honda) – 6) Manzi (Yamaha) …… DNS Oncu (Kawasaki)
“After the strong Superpole result I was feeling confident for the race. After the first start, I made up a lot of ground and moved into the lead but then the red flag put paid to all that. During the sighting lap prior to the restart, I crashed in a wet area of the track. I could have got back on if a rider who was following me hadn’t hit my bike, damaging it irreparably. What bad luck. I hope to make up for this tomorrow.”