From fear of being unfit, to Philipp’s best Friday of the season so far
Let’s start with the good news: Philipp Oettl will be able to race the Philipp Island round!
A busy and almost unexpected Friday to say the least. Yesterday evening, after the first medical check that hadn’t guaranteed the “fit” to ride, Philipp had to carry out a training session, to check the conditions with high heart rate; everything seemed fine, so much so that he was allowed to access FP 1. As soon as he got on track he proved to be fast and consistent right from the first laps, 12 chrono laps at an impressive pace that gave him seventh position. In the last step, some problems come up; the German rider experiences strange sensations, almost as if he was a bit “not fully focused”. He stops, in the box he is checked several times by the Clinica Mobile, but asks to make one last run to understand if this strange feeling is given by his neck conditions combined with the bumps of the Australian track, or if it really is the case to stop. On the second outing, the sensations improved, nothing too strange, just pain in the neck and in the lower back. So, speaking about times, here at Philipp Island, Oettl looks like a hammer; all laps on a similar pace, even with 20-lap tyre. He finishes seventh without using a new tyre in the last minutes.
Free Practice 1:
P 1 J. Rea 1.31.284
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.022
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.320
P 7 P. Oettl + 1.382
After FP 1, a further check allowed Philipp to take part to FP 2. Here the team’s strategy saw the use of two new tyres, the two new compounds brought here by Pirelli, due to the high drop faced in the last years. On the first run he improves a few tenths compared to the morning, then sets up a long run always staying on 32 high / 33 low. He encounters some problems especially in the two braking sections of the circuit, turn 4 and turn 10, where he couldn’t stop the bike perfectly. But throughout the fast part, that of the big corners, he is fast and constant. At the end he puts on new tyres, and with only one lap available he improves by half a second, dropping below 32. Checkered flag, seventh place confirmed and Best Independent Rider of the day.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 J. Rea 1.31.127
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.105
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.289
P 7 P. Oettl + 0.869
What has just ended is definitely the best Friday of the whole season. Philipp has been constant, fast and every time he has entered the track he has always been able to improve in some aspect. It’s still too early to be happy, the points will be awarded from tomorrow onwards, so the team will have to work to improve a few tenths. However, it remains an almost unexpected performance after last Sunday’s forfeit and the uncertainty about being “fit”. Not only is Philipp fit, but he seems really intent on fighting for something important here in Phillip Island!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“I am really happy about today performance! Yesterday I was not even sure to be fit to Race, and today I had a really solid day. Honestly I have to thank the physiotherapist of Bonovo and the guys from the Clinica, their treatments helped me a lot and they will help me through the weekend. We found a good set-up with the bike, we have to improve in the braking area, but I think we have good starting point for tomorrow. In both sessions we have been strong, and I am really happy both to feel quite good on the bike and with the work of the Team. Now let’s hope races will be dry in the next days, but anyway we have to fight in every condition!”
Amazing superpole, then the weather changes the plan for race 1
All good, perhaps the best possible weekend, up to Race 1; this year it seems that when things get big, for some reasons Team Go Eleven fails to deliver. Spectacular Superpole, a remarkable pace, then before Race 1 it starts to rain, Philipp and the Team choose the rear Intermediate and the front Rain. A risky choice, perhaps wrong, but to try it was the thing to do.
In FP 3, the Phillip Island asphalt was really wet, forcing all the riders to go on track with the Rain tyres. The German rider takes a few laps to gain confidence, then improves his pace, however leaving several tenths in the second and last sector. In any case, various data collected without risking too much in a session that was not very useful for the purpose of the result.
Free Practice 3:
P 1 J. Rea 1.41.353
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.377
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.523
P 16 P. Oettl + 2.610
Superpole was finally a positive session for the Go Eleven-branded Ducati V4-R. Dry track, Phillip Island takes very little time to dry, head down from the first minutes, trying to make the most of the rear SC0. First Run, fifth time, half a second better than FP 2. New rear tyre, new chance to attack the time. First red sector, very fast, then defends well in the second, returning to make the difference in the last two. He conquers the seventh final position, falling below 31.0; best qualifying of the year, it would probably have been difficult to do better. Well done, really well done Philipp!
P 1 A. Bautista 1.29.815
P 2 J. Rea + 0.211
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.238
P 7 P. Oettl + 1.148
Race 1, once again, didn’t give the German rider any satisfaction. Before the race, a long storm wets the asphalt, then a little sun comes out and dries the track quickly. On the grid Philipp and the team take a risk; intermediate on the rear, rain on the front, the only rider on the track with a different choice. Right or wrong, hard to tell even after the race; Philipp didn’t have much pace in the wet, and the team had nothing to lose. At the second corner the bike moves a bit, so the German rider goes off the track, he returns to the pits on the first lap to put on the rear Rain; a choice that could lead to nothing, so much so that he returns to the track last and lapped. At that point the race is over. Perhaps, at the end of the race, it can be said that by keeping the decision taken on the grid, Go Eleven could have fought well within the Top Ten; true, but if the rider doesn’t find the confidence, it’s difficult even just to do three “wet” laps without the right tyres.
P 1 J. Rea 36’47.340
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 6.247
P 3 A. Lowes + 15.435
P 20 P. Oettl + 1 Lap
In any case, tomorrow there are still two races, the weather doesn’t seem well, but concluding the final race on a high note would be ideal for tackling the winter break!
NEVER GIVE UP!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“Today we made a bet on the grid, but it didn’t pay! We choose the intermediate on the rear, but it was unridable in the first laps. In turn 2 I had to go off the track, then I came in to go back to the rain, but the race was over. Then we put the Slick, and we had a good pace. Probably we made a wrong decision, but we had nothing to loose. I am disappointed, the Team is disappointed, too, cause we are fast, but we have a lack of good results. In the Superpole we had a super fast rythm, It was my best Qualy of the year, and in the dry I am fast. On the wet I think we just need to improve the feeling, cause we have the potential to be fast in that conditions, too. Tomorrow it will be the last day of the season, so I just want something good!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“We knew the track would dry quickly and that’s why we opted for the intermediate rear tyre. In the first lap there was still a lot of water on the track, the sensation of aquaplaning convinced Philipp that it was too risky to continue. With 2 pits stop it was impossible to aim for any result. We are obviously disappointed, because once again we had the chance to bring home a good result, and once again we didn’t have a good result. Today, however, I am of the opinion that the risk was to be taken , we had nothing to lose and anything could happen in the race! We’ll try again tomorrow, perhaps hoping for a dry race!”
Best Independent in race 2
AT THE VERY LAST! At the last race of the season Philipp Oettl and the Go Eleven Team achieved the Best Independent Rider at the end of a great performance on a dry track, and a good battle with Axel Bassani and Micheal Rinaldi!
The Warm Up starts in complete dry conditions; Philipp immediately feels good again. He makes ten laps, all on the low 32, revealing himself as one of the fastest on the track as race pace.
P 1 J. Rea 1.31.062
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.131
P 3 A. Locatelli + 0.342
P 7 P. Oettl + 0.941
Shortly before the Superpole Race, a heavy storm, with strong gusts of wind, hit the Phillip Island Circuit. Just ten minutes after, the sun returned to warm up the Australian track. As learned yesterday, the track dries very very quickly. Philipp opts to start with the Rain tyres, mindful of the lack of grip in the first laps of Race 1. In the Warm Up lap he decides to return to the pits, where a possible switch to intermediates had been agreed before the start. Rear intermediate on, he is thus at the rear of the group; perhaps the race for the Top 9 is already far off, but in any case the German rider struggles to find a good feeling in this mixed configuration and is forced to finish the race without being able to fight. Three positions lost on the grid for Race 2. In this Race, the mistake was much more clear than yesterday, unfortunately long stretches of track were completely dry, so much so that the very courageous winner, Alvaro Bautista, was equipped with Slick-Slick.
P 1 A. Bautista 16’11.935
P 2 T. Razgatlioglu + 3.285
P 3 J. Rea + 3.328
P 16 P. Oettl + 40.015
In Race 2 Philipp manages to get the long-awaited result; he is Best Independent Rider at the end of a hard-fought Race 2, always battling with Axel and Michael. The best race of the season, perhaps, together with those of Barcelona, set at a very tight pace of the low 32, with a good battle with the Italian from the Motocorsa team. At the end, just when Philipp was looking for an opportunity to attack Michael, the race was interrupted by a red flag caused by an accident in turn 1. Seeing the Go Eleven bike again in parc fermé is always a thrill, above all because many times it was a possible goal, but escaped for a thousand reasons. Well done Philipp, great race from the start to the finish!
P 1 A. Bautista 27’08.334
P 2 J. Rea + 0.357
P 3 A. Lowes + 1 sector
P 8 P. Oettl + 2 sectors
A nice end to the season that kick ourselves even a bit more due to some missed opportunities over both the entire season and the Australian Round. But it is Philipp’s debut year; he has shown that he really has great speed and potential, and all the Go Eleven staff are firmly convinced that he can only improve in the seasons to come. In this Round he has never come out of the top 8 positions in the dry sessions, also demonstrating great constancy and a Top Rider working method, always alone and concentrated. It’s a shame about the mixed race conditions, but that will be an area to work on next year. We can’t wait to get back on track, and the 2023 debut will be right here at Phillip Island!
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“After a disappointing Superpole Race finally we had a really good race 2! Best Independent for the first time this year. I was happy with the bike, my feeling was good in all the dry sessions, in Superpole, too. The race was red-flagged with 4-5 laps to go, I think I could have made a bit of progress, but I am happy with the result. This weekend we did a good job, but we didn’t show our real potential in all the races, so i am half happy, half disappointed for the lost occasions. I am happy for the Team, because they deserve it, now we have a bit of rest, but in two months we will be back on the bike for the winter tests!”
Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager):
“The result we had been chasing since the beginning of the season and which we deserved has finally arrived, the whole team and Philipp deserved this award, too many things took us out of the opportunity to constantly fight for the Best Independent. We were always fast, and we worked well, growing continuously, beyond the final result. I’m therefore very happy, it was important to end the season in this way, it certainly raises the motivation for 2023! Today in race two, Philipp did nothing wrong, and in the last laps he could have even tried to attack Rinaldi, but we’re already happy like this. Thanks to everyone, to every single member of the team, to our sponsors, fans and supporters, thanks to Philipp and Peter Oettl, thanks to Ducati! It was an exciting season, but we will leave with the aim of improving on this year’s results and fighting for the Best Independent!”