Third overall for Oncu and sixth for Montella
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing has done an excellent job during the two official test days that concluded today at the Motorland Aragón circuit in Spain. This was a first opportunity for all riders in the Supersport World Championship category to get a feel for their competition, in a series that has seen a significant regulation change that now allows for the participation of new bikes with different engine sizes.
Conditions were sunny but very cold over both days, which made things difficult for the riders and their technicians.
Manuel Puccetti’s riders nevertheless proved to be at the sharp end of the category and, while this comes as welcome confirmation for Can Oncu, it is a happy surprise to see Yari Montella already so close to the top of the timesheets at the end of the Spanish sessions.
By the end of day one, Oncu had set the third fastest time, a 1’53”994, to finish less than two tenths from first. Montella also did very well and, despite the fact he is still getting to grips with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Ninja ZX-6R, he was able to set a 1’55”126 that saw him place ninth.
Both riders were able to improve on those references during today’s sessions. The young Turk stopped the clock on 1’53”542 and retained third place overall in the combined test classification. Montella made significant progress, climbing to sixth overall thanks to a best lap of 1’54”088.
The team and riders can now rest up for two days, before they return to the Aragon track on Friday 8 April for the opening round of the Supersport World Championship.
“I’ve felt really good on my bike during these tests, and it’s all been very positive. We were consistently fast and today I could have set a better time if I hadn’t been hindered by another rider during my flying lap. But beyond the result, we know we have great potential, and this means that I feel relaxed and optimistic, not only ahead of the first round but the whole season. Thanks to my team as they’ve done a great job as ever.”
“Two very important days. We’ve worked very well, although the morning sessions were really cold. I’m constantly learning more about how to exploit the potential of my bike, also thanks to my technicians’ great work, as they now know how to adapt it to my riding style. I’m still lacking something in terms of both my race pace and over the flying lap, but we’re in a good position and have significant room for improvement. During Friday’s practice sessions, we’ll continue with the work begun this week. As for the first round, I’d say I’m optimistic, because I like the track and have always been fast here.”
Work in progress for Mahias and the team
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing has concluded the official test sessions that precede the opening round of the 2022 Superbike World Championship at Motorland Aragón in Spain.
In the previous winter tests, Lucas Mahias demonstrated that he is back to full fitness following the incident that brought his 2021 season to a premature end. Yesterday, the Frenchman worked with his team to find a good set-up for his Ninja ZX-10RR, which will mount Öhlins suspension this season. With a time of 1’51’151, Lucas rounded out day one in fourteenth place.
Like yesterday, today brought sun but very low temperatures. By the end of the three test sessions (which included a crash in the final phase), Mahias had set a best time of 1’51”038. A positive step in the right direction but not enough, due to some technical problems that the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing technical staff is working to resolve ahead of the opening WorldSBK round, which will get underway at the same Motorland Aragón track on Friday.
“Overall, the test has been positive. In Superbike, we had a few technical issues and are working to resolve them. This is what testing is for; it’s best for the problems to come out now in practice rather than over the race weekend. Lucas was fast yesterday and improved today, if only by a little. In Supersport, we did an excellent job and are pleased. Oncu was consistently in the top three and showed he has great pace. And it’s good news from Montella too; he improved constantly to finish sixth overall. We’re ready to play a starring role this season.”
“The cold definitely didn’t help, and we hope for better weather this weekend. We worked well yesterday anyway and, despite focusing on the set-up of the bike and its performance over longer distance, my lap time was quite fast. Today I thought I’d improve, but some technical problems slowed us down. My team is working to resolve them and so I feel confident ahead of the first round, in which I’ll give it my all so as to start the season in the best possible way.”