With the 2021 season having concluded at Mandalika in Indonesia, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team Principal Manuel Puccetti has visited the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, where he presented the 2022 rider line-up with which his team will compete in the Superbike World Championship and the new-look Supersport World Championship to sponsors in attendance at the exhibition.
Frenchman Lucas Mahias is confirmed in the top class, the rider having demonstrated real potential this year until he sustained an injury, although this is fortunately now behind him. Born in Mont de Marsan, France in 1989, Mahias was crowned French Supersport champion in 2014 and Supersport World Champion in 2017. He has completed 27 Superbike races to date.
Can Oncu will also continue with the team, in the Supersport category, the young Turk having made significant progress over the course of the 2021 season, setting the fastest lap of the Barcelona race and scoring three podiums (third at Magny-Cours and second and third at San Juan Villicum). Born in Alanya, Turkey in 2003, Oncu won the Rookies Cup in 2018 as well as the Valencia round of the Moto3 world championship before spending a full season in Moto3 and then moving to WorldSSP in 2020. Oncu has so far contested 39 races in this category.
The 2022 season will see the arrival of Italian rider Yari Montella, who will flank Oncu in Supersport to form one of the youngest teams in the category. Born in Oliveto Citra in 2000, he made his debut in the CIV SP 4T in 2003, winning the championship the following year. He continued in CIV Moto3 and CEV Moto3 and then in Moto2. In this category he won the Spanish Championship in 2020. This year saw him debut in the Moto2 World Championship and in WorldSSP, where he contested two races and scored 16 points.
Before the two world championships get underway, Manuel Puccetti’s team will carry out a series of tests, the schedule for which is currently in development.
2022 WorldSBK Provisional Calendar:
8th – 10th April: MotorLand Aragon, Spain
22nd – 24th April: TT Circuit Assen, the Netherlands
20 – 22nd May: Circuito Estoril, Portugal
10th – 12th June: Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, Italy
15th – 17th July: Donington Park, UK
29th – 31st July: Autodrom Most, Czech Republic
9th – 11th September: Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, France
23rd – 25th September: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
7th – 9th October: Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portugal
21st – 23rd October: Circuito San Juan Villicum, Argentina
11th – 13th November: Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, Indonesia
Dates to be assigned: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Australia
A 13th event is to be announced (TBA)
“I’m pleased with the riders we’ll have next year, starting with Supersport duo Oncu and Montella, two youngsters with excellent prospects. Despite his young age, Can will begin his third Supersport season and I think this might be the year in which he confirms his place as a top rider in the category. Montella is a WorldSSP rookie, but he knows the championship well. I’ve followed him since he won the Italian 300 championship with a Kawasaki and I know he’s a real talent. This will also be Mahias’ fourth year with us, his second in Superbike. This year he struggled with injury that saw him miss almost half the championship. His physical problem has now been resolved with surgery, and so we look forward to seeing him at Jerez for the first two days of testing. We hope that he can continue to grow and exploit the potential he showed during this complicated season”.
“The 2021 season didn’t finish as I’d hoped, as the injury I sustained turned out to be more serious than we thought, but I’ve since made a full recovery. It was a complicated year in which I was able to learn a lot and gain experience that I’ll be able to harness in 2022. I want to thank Manuel Puccetti for putting his faith in me – I’ll be doing all I can to repay him with the best possible results”.
“I was able to demonstrate constant growth during the 2021 Supersport season and so I feel it was a very positive one. I’m really pleased to continue with this team and with Kawasaki. Next year I’ll have a new team-mate, who I’ve already met and who made a very good first impression. Our goal will be to win the world title, as I believe this is within both my and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s reach”.
“I’m very happy to be part of Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, a team with which I’m sure I can score strong results. I immediately got on well with Manuel Puccetti and have already had chance to meet my team-mate Can Oncu. We’re both young and keen to do well, and I think we can help each other out during the course of the season. It will be an important year and I can’t wait to get on my ZX-6R and prepare for the 2022 WorldSSP season”.