Among a cancelled best lap time and a grid penalty for Race One, the weekend didn’t start off great.
A slightly below expectations Friday complicated Philipp Oettl and Team Go Eleven’s plans for Saturday at the San Juan track. There are areas for improvement, especially in some parts of the track, and the Team will work on it in view of the important Saturday, when the first points of the South American Round will be awarded.
In FP 1, the German rider set a good pace for over twenty laps, trying to understand the references and lines of the El Villicum track, riding the Ducati V4-R. Right from the start, Turn 17 was a critical point, where Philipp hit the green several times, seeing several fast laps deleted. Same fate for what would have been the Best Lap of the day in 1.39.274 which would have placed him in twelfth place in the standings. During the Free Practice 1 Team Go Eleven opted to work with used tyres, without trying to attack the time at the end.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.37.511
P 2 J. Rea + 0.322
P 3 A. Locatelli + 0.571
P 15 P. Oettl + 1.953
At the beginning of FP 2 Philipp hit the track with a new SCX tyre, in order to test it for the race. The conditions in the afternoon were very hot, with over 50 degrees as asphalt temperature. Probably due to a lower grip caused by the heat, the number 5 rookie was unable to find a good lap, stopping the clock just below the morning reference. The feeling, over the 45 minutes of the session, has never been the best, encountering difficulties mainly in sectors 1 and 3. Towards the end of the session, a misunderstanding with Iker Lecuona generates a penalty of three positions on Race 1 grid for the German rider.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 J. Rea 1.37.707
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.071
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.279
P 15 P. Oettl + 1.698
In the evening the technicians of the Italian team will find out new solutions to help Philipp in riding on this track; here in Argentina the asphalt conditions greatly affect the feeling and riding of the riders, especially on the first day. In any case, the distance from the reference group is not high, and tomorrow we can take an important step forward.
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today the first practice was quite good, our best lap had been deleted, but it was good for a twelve position. We had a solid pace and consistency through the morning. In FP 2 it was a little bit more difficult, I couldn’t make a step on the bike as I would like. The feeling was not so great, too. I also took a three grid position penalty for tomorrow, due to an incomprehension with Lecuona. Definitively, it wasn’t the perfect day, but we try to analyse everything and get ready for tomorrow!”
From mid-race on, Oettl’s physicality and the bike set up are suffering
A really difficult day for Team Go Eleven and Philipp Oettl among the Argentine turns of the El Villicum circuit. After an under expectation qualifying, Race 1 was good for the first ten laps, but the he suffered a physical problem, which combined with a not yet perfect set-up, forced the German rider to lose several positions.
Saturday opened with much lower temperatures, around ten degrees of air, slightly changing the asphalt conditions. Philipp immediately showed a good step forward, improving the Friday reference with used tyres. At the end, then, he attempted a time attack, with the SCQ, going down to the low 38 and positioning himself close to the top ten.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.37.216
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.030
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.201
P 11 P. Oettl + 1.044
Superpole, for Philipp Oettl, was a negative turn, where the number 5 rookie was quite fast in almost all sectors, but never managed to complete a complete good lap. Unfortunately, with all the riders very close, losing even a few tenths means starting from the back. Seventeenth position, which, with the three penalties, means starting from the twentieth in Race 1. The pace, however, was not bad in the long runs performed, so there could be room for a strong comeback.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 1.36.216
P 2 J. Rea + 0.233
P 3 A. Bautista + 0.455
P 17 P. Oettl + 1.933
In Race 1 Philipp starts well, manages to get back a couple of positions immediately, and in the first laps he proves to be challenging and fast. He overtakes Gerloff, Laverty, Fores and Nozane, launching himself in pursuit of the Top Ten. Towards the seventh / eighth lap, however, Philipp begins to accuse a physical problem in his left arm, which slowly leads him to lose strength. In the last ten laps he struggles even to stop the bike, and adding the drop of the rear tire, forces the German rider to lose positions without weapons to defend himself with.
P 1 A. Bautista 34’18.304
P 2 J. Rea + 5.141
P 3 A. Bassani + 6.689
P 17 P. Oettl + 44.885
Unfortunately today was a real day to forget, one of those from which very little can be saved; however, the speed to fight near the Top Ten is there, and for tomorrow it will be essential to find a solution so that the left side is less stressed. Already today the technicians are evaluating some solutions, especially regarding the rider’s seat and the position of the handlebars.
Sunday Schedule (local time / Italian time):
Warm Up: 10.00 – 10.15 / 15.00 – 15.15
SP Race: 12.00 / 17.00
Race 2: 15.00 / 20.00
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today I am really not happy! FP 3 was fine, but then in Qualifying we couldn’t do a very fast lap. In the Race, the grid penalty didn’t help us, but I had a good start, I managed to fight with some riders and come back until P 13. I felt better on the bike, but the package in the second part of the Race wasn’t so good as I expected, and me too I had some physical problem. I lost a lot of positions, I couldn’t defend my result. I think we can only do better in the next races!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“Today was a really difficult day for us. Here in San Juan, we are struggling to find the right configuration on the bike, especially in the hottest sessions. The Superpole, unfortunately, did not give the desired result, and in the Race Philipp started strong, trying to close the gap with the top ten, looking comfortable in the first laps. From the middle of the race he suffered with his left arm, but also our configuration was not the best possible. From here we can only improve and work; tomorrow morning we will see if the new position will help him in riding and from there we will try to bring home a good result!”
Missed opportunity to secure Best Independent Team
On Sunday in San Juan, Go Eleven could be happier than on Saturday, as Philipp managed the physical difficulty by fighting and giving 100% even in the long distance; in reality, however, looking at the ranking, Team Go Eleven can only bite their hands for the missed opportunity to finish Best Independent for the first time in 2022.
The day on Sunday begins with much higher temperatures than on Saturday; since the Warm Up the asphalt temperature rises over 30 degrees, further changing the conditions of the track. Philipp enters the track with new SC0 tyre, trying to understand the changes made yesterday evening in order to manage the loss of power in the arm. He is fast from the start, setting the best time of the whole weekend in 1.38.1, even better than qualifying. The left arm, however, still has some problems, so much so that he prefers to save the last few minutes to be more relaxed for the races.
P 1 J. Rea 1.37.141
P 2 A. Lowes + 0.007
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.205
P 12 P. Oettl + 0.963
Before the Superpole Race Philipp has the opportunity to carry out a treatment in the Clinica Mobile, in order to relieve contracture. The choice of tyre falls on the SCQ, a risky choice, but taken by mutual agreement between the team and the rider to try to be as aggressive as possible. He starts with determination, but in the first laps he loses some time with Laverty, swapping positions several times; then he goes into battle with Gerloff and Redding, but unfortunately the group fighting for the first nine is far away and the gap cannot be closed. He finishes the race fifteenth, suffering again at the end, especially from a physical point of view. The rear tyre, perhaps, was not the best possible choice, but still a risk that had to be taken.
P 1 T. Razgatlioglu 16’19.266
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.613
P 3 J. Rea + 0.856
P 15 P. Oettl + 19.308
For Race 2 Team Go Eleven opts for the hardest rear tyre available, so Philipp can not worry too much about tyre management and think about riding smoothly, preserving and managing the strength in his left arm. At the start he is immediately in a group of fast riders, Fores, Gerloff and Mahias; manages to free himself from them, pushing and trying to close the gap on Laverty, Best Independent rider at the end of Race 2. As long as the strength holds, as long as his left arm allows him to ride well, he comes back half a second per lap on the Irish BMW , then with seven / eight laps to go, he gives up and is forced to finish the race fourteenth. Certainly not the desired result, but after yesterday’s race, finishing two races today was not so obvious. And today Philipp managed to be much more consistent over the long distance.
P 1 A. Bautista 34’24.501
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 3.389
P 3 J. Rea + 9.784
P 14 P. Oettl + 38.422
Today the regret for missing an important opportunity to finish at the Parc Ferme as Best Independent is what remains in the minds of the whole Team; Philipp has shown that he is fast and has the pace, but unfortunately when physical problems arise, there is nothing that can be done during the weekend. Now all that remains is to understand the reason for this sudden problem on the left side, try to solve it as soon as possible in view of the season finale and come back for the double Indonesia – Australia in the positions that compete with us!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Overall it was a difficult weekend, but today we did a small step in the right direction. I worked with the Clinica Mobile and it helped a little bit the feeling in my arm. Today I could fight a little bit longer in the races. From the Superpole Race I expected a little bit more, the tyre choice was maybe not the best solution, but I decide together with the team to take this risky choice. In the race 2 we opted for as harder tyre compound compared to yesterday. It helped a bit for the feeling through the long distance, I was more consistent, I reduced the gap compared to yesterday. During the race I couldn’t push to my maximum, I had to manage to get to the end, but in the last 5-6 laps I struggled a lot. Compared to Barcelona and Portimao, it was a track were we didn’t tested before, but I could expect bit more. Now we have time to reset everything, and prepare for the next race in Indonesia!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“It was a difficult weekend, the arm problem certainly influenced our results, and today we lost an opportunity to go to the podium as a top independent, but on the other hand I am proud of Philipp. He grit his teeth and he raced fighting throughout the race, other riders would have retired or even would not have even started. What makes me happy is the union of the team, the work group and the motivation we all have, we know we are fast and to have room for improvement, these things are important to get where we want to go. This weekend is to be forgotten, but I am sure that already from Indonesia we will be able to return to our positions!”