The Puccetti Kawasaki pairing will take to the track for the first time this season at the Misano test, as both look to start strong for the upcoming season
With the 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship fast approaching its kick-off at the MotorLand Aragon circuit in May, crucial testing is starting to get underway. Aiming to start as they mean to go on and take the fight to the Yamaha teams, the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad will be on-track at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for their first test ahead of the 2021 season launch. Both riders, Philipp Oettl and new recruit Can Öncü, will get to grips with their motorcycles amongst a variety of WorldSBK teams as testing is ramped up throughout March for most in the paddock.
The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad have great success in World Supersport, having taken the title with Kenan Sofuoglu in 2015 and 2016, the team have been race-winners ever since and in the past two seasons, have taken multiple race wins with Lucas Mahias. With the 2017 World Champion graduating to the team’s WorldSBK project, Oettl and Öncü have the responsibility of keeping Puccetti Kawasaki in contention and fighting for wins and the title.
Speaking of the upcoming test, getting bedded back in will be key for Oettl, before moving on to electronics and suspension settings: “My objective is to first, ride the bike and get back with the team. I haven’t seen the guys since November when I was at the workshop. It’s important to start working again, riding again and get the feeling for the bike and for everything else. I would like to work on the electronics and also with the suspension. We have something from WP which we have to try; they are my two major points.”
Talking about going into his second year with Manuel Puccetti’s team, Oettl is in a good setting and looks forward to welcoming Can Öncü alongside him: “With Manuel and his team, I am in a really nice place. Also, being a part of the Kawasaki family is very unique, and I’ve never felt anything like this in another team. I think the decision to stay with Kawasaki and Puccetti is a good one and one more year with the team and bike will help us. With Can, we spoke a little bit last year as he had a bike coming from Puccetti too, and I think that working with him will be fun.”
On the other side of the garage is 17-year-old Turkish star Can Öncü, who will meet the full team for the first time in a track setting: “What I need to do is know the team better and work out who is who and what their names are! This is completely new, so I need to understand the bike, make long race runs and also do shorter runs. The shorter runs I think will be two or three laps, to improve the Superpole, which wasn’t great for me last year.”
For heading into the test, Öncü is welcoming a surprise, as he simply wants to get settled with the bike that is handed to him: “I spoke with Manuel Puccetti and said, ‘I don’t want to know anything, just give me the bike’ so we will see if we have new parts when I arrive, so it’s a bit of a surprise for me! Of course, I am excited; a lot of riders in the paddock dream to be in this team and I am, so I can’t wait to try the bike.”
Follow all of the testing across via worldsbk.com and watch the WorldSSP story unfold in 2021 with the WorldSBK VideoPass!