Friday free practice
The first free practice sessions is in the books, immediately demonstrating some new features of the WorldSBK format. Since 2022, the teams have available some SCQs, qualifying performance tyres, which they can also use during practice sessions. The values in the field are thus slightly altered, not allowing to carry out an analysis based only on the combined ranking.
The FP 1 were very positive for Philipp, first making a long stint with the harder compound, then focusing on the SCX in the final minutes. The German rider and the Go Eleven technicians had to re-set the Ducati Panigale V4-RS to the warmer temperatures. At the end of the session, Oettl signed a significant 1.50.641, which placed him in tenth position.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.49.301
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.364
P 3 M. Rinaldi + 0.699
P 10 P. Oettl + 1.340
FP 2 started with a warmer asphalt, still slightly changing conditions compared to the morning. Philipp and Team Go Eleven took advantage of the session with schedule and conditions more similar to long races to carry out Long Runs. First the used tyre from FP 1 was taken to the end, then the German rider made 14 laps on new tyres, covering a distance of about 2/3 of the race. It was important for the 26-year-old rookie to understand his reaction to the drop of grip, and to adapt his style accordingly in the last part of the race. Towards the end of the session many riders used a qualifying tyre, making a clear step forward, improving by about half a second; Team Go Eleven preferred to save some stickers (which limits the maximum number of tyres used in the three days) for the rest of the weekend at Motorland.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 A. Bautista 1.49.606
P 2 J. Rea + 0.024
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.100
P 16 P. Oettl + 1.598
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“I think today it was a positive day, but overall we will see tomorrow after the first race where we really are. We did a good job today, both in FP 1 and FP 2; in the second session we did a Long Run, which is important to understand the actual conditions. Compared to the tests, it’s much warmer, but I am happy about the feedback. Now we analyze the datas, then for FP 3 we have a different plan, to get prepared for the Superpole. Then we will see what happens. I am curious for the first Superpole and for the Race!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Today we did some set-up tests on the front, trying to improve the turning with used tyres, to get used to long distance races. It is difficult to understand our current level because, with the introduction of the new SCQ rear tyre, some riders have already tried it today by simulating the distance of the Superpole Race, and therefore mixing a bit the ranking. Tomorrow after the first race we will have a better idea about it and we will also know the points we should work on, us as a team and Philipp on tyre management!”
Saturday – Philipp fights for best independent and gains his first points
What a race, what a start to the World Championship! Close fight for both the top positions and the Top Ten, in a track that never disappoints expectations! Philipp Oettl and the Go Eleven team collected the first championship points, completing an excellent race for a rookie, but which leaves a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth.
The morning started in the best possible way, with the German rider who faced FP 3 with great determination to better prepare for qualifying. After a few laps with “really used” tyres, he returned to the pits to switch to the new SCQ. As soon as he was on the track he started to push, completing a super-lap under 50. Fourth place in the session, sixth overall of all free practice sessions. That was really a big step forward!
Free Practice 3:
P 1 L. Baz 1.49.591
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.073
P 3 J. Rea + 0.091
P 4 P. Oettl + 0.335
In Superpole, the very first decisive sessions of the weekend, Philipp used two new SCQs on the rear; with the first he set a good time, but not exceptional, slower than in the morning. Then with the second he made full use of the extra grip provided: 1.49.636, fastest time ever for Oettl at Aragon and fourth row conquered, just behind format specialists like Baz and Gerloff. Upon returning to the pits, the 26-year-old from the Go Eleven Team said he was satisfied, but not very happy; a sign that he felt he had good potential back in his hands.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.48.267
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.006
P 3 J. Rea + 0.209
P 12 P. Oettl + 1.369
In Race 1 Philipp felt all the excitement and tension of his debut in the highest category. On the grid, as he was looking for concentration, you could see his eyes charged and determined. The race did not start in the best way, after a good start, he stay closed in Turn 1, passing through the first intermediate eighteenth, losing six positions. Very quickly he began overtaking, and after having put a small gap to Mahias, he set out in pursuit of the Top Ten. Lap after lap, tenth after tenth, he closed the gap on Gerloff, Baz and Laverty, managing to attack too. At the end of the race, after a small mistake in the fight with the Irish, he lost his concentration slightly, losing his pace in the final laps. An ending that leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth, when you feel the chance to fight for the Best Independent, then it goes away, it is normal to be slightly disappointed; but if you think that this is the first race, the starting point is more than excellent. We must continue like this because there are two more races tomorrow!
P 1 J. Rea 33’13.308
P 2 A. Bautista +0.090
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 5.416
P 13 P. Oettl + 28.728
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“I think it was a solid day. We started in a really good way, being sixth overall in the FPs. With the Q I managed to find a good grid position, in the middle of the group in twelfth position, which it was not so bad. Then, the first Race it was not so easy, but I learnt a lot. I better know for tomorrow what I should do different, but now it’s important to work with the team and give them as many infos as I can. Tomorrow we can do another good long Race, I am curios for the Superpole Race, I need to be a bit more aggressive with only ten laps!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Today it was a positive day, in qualifying Philipp managed to do 49.6, I think it’s an incredible time for a rookie rider in Superbike here in Aragon! So speed is there! He showed it in the race too, his pace was very good enough to fight for the Top Ten and the victory as an Independent. The final result was conditioned by an error at the first corner at the start and by the last 5 laps where we were not able to be constant, but for us today it was important to understand where we were, our starting point, and now we know we are already competitive and can fight for excellent results right away. This gives us great motivation!”
Sunday – Strong debut for Philipp Oettl with more points collected
Final day in Aragon, a good debut weekend for Philipp Oettl and the Go Eleven Team! After a Superpole Race with a few mistakes, the German set an excellent pace in Race 2, which allowed him to fight in the second group.
The Warm Up allowed Philipp to regain confidence with the Ducati Panigale on used tyres, slightly lost yesterday in the final laps, when he gave his opponents a couple of seconds. It should be considered that many opponents started with new tyres, immediately riding fast, while Oettl had to struggle with the low grip generated by the rear tyre with 14 laps.
P 1 M. Rinaldi 1.49.721
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.005
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.046
P 19 P. Oettl + 2.512
The Superpole Race was a complicated race, but really useful for Philipp to understand the tyres and the behavior of the bike in battle. The Go Eleven rider, together with the technicians, opted to race with the brand new SCQ, the qualifying soft. A risky choice, but which proved to be quite good. Perhaps he did not provide the advantage that could have been expected at the start of the race, also thanks to a bad start that caused him to lose six positions, but it was constant throughout the ten lap distance. Unfortunately, in the middle of the race Oettl made a mistake, going wide, while he was returning to fight for the Top Ten, thus losing several positions. He probably wouldn’t have entered the nine (the only positions that give points) at the end of the race, but the pace was very good and fast, so much so that he managed to pass four riders in a couple of laps.
P 1 A. Bautista 18’19.201
P 2 J. Rea + 5.141
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 6.008
P 16 P. Oettl + 22.818
Race 2 turned out to be decidedly more positive and consistent than Saturday’s Race 1. After a not perfect start, which saw Philipp pass in seventeenth position at the first corner, he was able to quickly recover a couple of positions, entering the points area and trying to close the gap taken in the first laps by the group fighting for the Top Ten. The pace was good, practically the same as the Honda HRC riders and Loris Baz; here in Aragon from seventh to fifteenth all the riders were fighting each other and a few tenths per lap could really make a difference. Unfortunately when you start back it is difficult to recover, but Oettl was able to grit his teeth even in the final and finish in thirteenth position. Today the technical staff and all the members of the Team were quite happy with the performance of the number 5 rookie, as he showed good growth and greater stability in the 18 laps of the race. An overall debut in the points area, close to the Top Ten, without errors or technical problems! It’s hard to hope for better on the eve, but the Championship has just begun!
P 1 A. Bautista 33’17.081
P 2 J. Rea + 4.393
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 6.223
P 13 P. Oettl + 29.325
The Superbike circus moves to Assen, in the cathedral of speed, one of the most beautiful and exciting tracks of the whole season! Two weeks of rest, just the time to reorganize thoughts and datas, and it will be time for Round 02, April 22-24!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“After the Second Race, I am much more happy than yesterday, because I could keep the pace longer. I think we learnt a lot during the Races. In the Superpole Race I did a few mistakes, but I had the pace to stay close to the Top 10. Overall I think it was a good race weekend, we did two times points in both races, so I think we can be quite happy with it. Now we will analyse the datas, and see what we can improve for Assen. We are not so far from the top ten, and we are at the first Race! The team did a good job, all the test and then the weekend we had no problem, we spent nice ten days together. I think we must be happy…by now!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Philipp raced the Superpole Race and the 3 races at the weekend for his first time! I think it was a very positive day for us, we have finally discovered our starting level and we are even more motivated than before, because we have a very high potential and we could improve. The riders and bikes in this World Championship are all very close and very competitive, if you are not perfect it is easy not to get the result, but if you can take a small step, a small improvement, it is just as easy to make a significative step forward in the standings. Philipp works methodically and the bike is fast, the team is also in harmony and we have all the bases to grow solidly and have fun! “