Friday – Philipp Oettl is third at the end of day one at Donington Park
Positive day for the Go Eleven Team; Friday on the spectacular English track ended with the German rider number 5 in third place in the combined standings. Fast and consistent in the morning, Oettl was able to stop the clock less than a tenth from the top, riding about 1 and a half seconds faster than last year’s FP 1, despite the classic English drizzle leaving a few drops on the visors of the protagonists on the track .
FP 1 was a session continuously influenced by the weather, but the track always remained dry enough to allow the riders to get good references. Philipp took to the track motivated and determined, immediately entering the Top 5, and improving with each outing into the track. Until mid-session the most critical part of the track seemed to be the two low-speed hairpins, but in the last stint he managed to close the gap and set an excellent time to move into third place. Same tyre for the whole session, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible to try a real race pace, due to some showers during the 45 minutes.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.27.627
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.052
P 3 P. Oettl + 0.130
In FP 2 the riders immediately took to the track, hoping that the weather would assist them for a few timed laps; unfortunately the rain appeared immediately, making the track damp, but not wet enough to test the Rain tyres. A practically wasted session that will make tomorrow’s race interesting; no team was able to test a considerable number of laps, generating a big question regarding the tyres and drop, also considering the new asphalt.
Free Practice 2: No time set
Tomorrow FP 3 will be very important, thirty minutes in which we will try to understand the drop of the tyres and the response of a hotter asphalt in case of sun. Let’s enjoy this P3, aware that tomorrow we will need to confirm and try to get a good qualification!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today we can speak only about the First Practice, while in the second one we couldn’t complete a lap due to the typical english weather! In the afternoon we saved a sticker to have one more tyre for the weekend, where the weather seems to be good. This morning we did a good job, my feelings were good on the bike, I think we are on the right way since Misano race. Tomorrow morning FP 3 will be crucial for the Race, we keep focused!”
Saturday – A technical problem with 4 corners to go
Hard to accept what happened today in Donington Park; the Ducati Go Eleven was forced to stop due to a technical problem related to the engine, with four corners to go. Four turns, about a kilometer and a half. A good race by the way, in which Philipp always stayed within three seconds to the Top 5.
As was said yesterday, FP 3 would have been fundamental for the weekend; it’s a pity that the rain that fell during the night left a wet asphalt that made the morning session almost useless. Many laps to dry the line, but none with a good race pace. However, Philipp confirmed the good sensations experienced yesterday, waiting for qualifying.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 A. Bautista 1.27.636
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.144
P 3 J. Rea + 0.617
P 10 P. Oettl + 1.889
Superpole here in Donington was really tight! Philipp collected six tenths of a gap, finding himself eleventh on the grid. Not bad compared to the qualifying sessions of the last few rounds, but the regret is for a small mistake in the third sector, in which he dropped a couple of tenths. It still remains a good starting position for Race 1.
P 1 J. Rea 1.26.041
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.068
P 3 D. Petrucci + 0.164
P 11 P. Oettl + 0.688
The race turned out to be one of the best for Philipp from Australia at the start the season. Convinced, determined, with a good pace that lap after lap brought him closer to the Top 5. He was never able to definitively close the gap to attack, keeping the group with Locatelli, Lowes, Bassani and Sykes close at hand, in one second gap. At the end, while he was defending ninth position from Scott Redding, a sudden engine problem forced him to retire immediately, with four corners to go. It hurts, because the results give morale and we needed a good performance today, but the race gives confidence for tomorrow!
P 1 A. Bautista 33’28.763
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 3.781
P 3 J. Rea + 6.115
DNF P. Oettl
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today it’s a mixed feeling day, we had a good FP3, but then we have been unlucky in the Superpole. In the race, starting from the back, I really couldn’t overtake. I had a small contact with Redding, i lost a couple of positions, then my Race was over. It’s impossible for me to attack here, I couldn’t overtake no-one. This weekend we made a step on the bike, i feel much much faster than my position, but I couldn’t bring home the result. I am a bit frustrated cause we deserved more. The starting position is so important, every time we are fast, we loose the result for a reason.”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“It’s a strange weekend because the weather conditions didn’t give us the opportunity to work on the bike and much less to get any indications on the choice of tyres, but I must admit that we have always been very fast and competitive, except in qualifying, where we missed a couple of tenths to be in the first 2 rows. In the race all the riders made a conservative tyre choice and therefore we were all in the same conditions, and Philipp showed a very fast race pace, I would say that if he could be in the top 5 in the early stages of the race, he would be able to keep these positions. Unfortunately, in this historic period of WorldSBK, the start and the first 2 laps are affecting the progress of the races too much and therefore the final result. In conclusion, I think we are back as competitive as we were at the start of the season, and this is thanks to the whole team who worked and always believed in us by finding the solution to our problems that appeared from Mandalika, now we have to take the last step, which is to find the speed on the flying lap, to start from the front, and stay with those who have our pace.”
Sunday – A double top ten for Philipp and Team Go Eleven at Donington Park
Sunday better than yesterday in terms of results, in which Philipp has always kept the pace of the group fighting for the podium, but has never managed to get completely close. It’s true that tenth position seems far from the top places, but in today’s Superbike with a couple of tenths per lap or a good qualifying it’s easy to gain many positions. Constantly growing compared to Misano, but in any case we still need to improve the race pace to enter the important fight.
In the Warm Up there was an attempt by all the teams to evaluate the softer compound on the rear, but both because of the cold wind and because of a very demanding track in terms of tyre, after a couple of laps the bike became unstable; once the choice was set aside, the idea of everyone going with the SC0 remained the only possible one in both races.
P 1 J. Rea 1.26.438
P 2 M. Rinaldi + 0.078
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.123
P 13 P. Oettl + 0.707
In the Superpole Race, unfortunately, performance counts for little, the important thing is to stay within the first nine positions to improve on the starting grid. This time Philipp came really close, conquering the tenth position in Redding’s slipstream. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, but once again the group for the Top 5 was just a few seconds away, and the race pace wasn’t so much faster than that of the German rider. The battle with Aegerter was good, overtaken right in the final stages of the Race.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 14’26.442
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.315
P 3 J. Rea + 0.537
P 10 P. Oettl + 11.167
Race 2 starts with a big scare on the first lap; Sykes is the victim of a very violent highside coming out of turn 8, one of the fastest on the circuit; Rinaldi and Baz end up on the ground to avoid him, Philipp spreads out going onto the grass and still brushing the BMW’s Englishman on the helmet. He comes back last but the race is stopped to help those involved. At the restart, Philipp defended his position close to the top ten, and set off in pursuit of the group in front. He catches Aegerter, overtakes him, tries to close on Gerloff, but all the riders inside the top ten were really riding at a similar pace. He finished the last race at Donington Park tenth, showing good pace, but without having the decisive rythm to get back into the fight at the front. Here there was very little gap, even if the final result seems far from the top five. Once again qualifying and the first laps are crucial for a good result.
P 1 A. Bautista 31’51.175
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 2.650
P 3 D. Petrucci + 7.936
P 10 P. Oettl + 14.317
After Misano it was essential to confirm the steps forward shown in terms of speed; here in Donington Philipp has always been close to the group from P 5 to P 8. Now we need to take a further small step forward, we are talking about one, two tenths a lap which can help to recover important positions and points. See you in Imola in two weeks!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today both Superpole Race and Race 2 were really really fast! The bike was fine, I got involved in the first lap crash, but I was able to avoid all the riders. We were lucky that the race was red flagged, cause I was really last. Our pace was good enough to stay with the guys in front, but I couldn’t completely close the gap. On one side I am happy cause we are there, I can see the podium all the race long, but on the other side it’s disappointing to be so close but so far in terms of positions. After Misano we found our way, we have to continue this way. Imola it’s a track I don’t know, but I will do a couple of laps with Denis riding the bicycle, he will show me some tricks!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“80% of the race is decided in qualifying and in the first five laps. We’re back to being very fast, today we confirmed that the pace is in line with the Top 5, but we have to work to improve these first two stages in order to get the result. The work we’re doing motivates us for the next race. We can touch the result but we still don’t grab it, and this makes us even hungrier. At Donington we were very consistent and Philipp was even able to find himself more comfortable when overtaking. Now we need the last step!”