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Eazi Grip

Yari Montella takes his and Kawasaki’s first win for 2023 in WorldSSP at Phillip Island

Friday

Constant improvement for Mahias in free practice at Phillip Island

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias is on track at Phillip Island in Australia for the twelfth and final round of the Superbike World Championship. Having had to sit out the previous Indonesian round due to minor injury sustained in a crash, the Frenchman was today given the OK by doctors to compete in the free practice sessions. Lucas has never ridden at this track with a Superbike until now and so he used the day’s first sessions to build confidence with the track. In FP1 he placed eighteenth with a 1’33”877, while the afternoon session saw Mahias improve significantly on his earlier time (1’32”720) to finish thirteenth in the day’s combined standings.

Tomorrow, Mahias will be back out for the third and final practice, followed by Superpole and Race 1.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Superbike World Championship
Combined free practice results: 1) Rea (Kawasaki) – 2) Bautista (Ducati) – 3) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 4) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) ……. 13) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Lucas Mahias “I really struggled to adapt my riding style to the bike and track this morning as this is the first time I’m riding a Superbike here. Things picked up in the afternoon’s session and I started to understand what I need to do to improve my feeling and the performance of my Ninja. We need to continue working in this direction in tomorrow’s FP3 in preparation for Superpole and the race. I want to thank my team for all their help so far.”

Montella fourth and Oncu sixth in free practice at Phillip Island

The beautiful Phillip Island circuit, which has the Indian Ocean as its backdrop, is the stage for the twelfth and final Supersport World Championship round. Just one week ago, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Can Oncu and Yari Montella were competing in Indonesia, where they scored some very strong results, with a double podium for Oncu and a fifth and sixth place finish for Montella, very close to the frontrunners.

At this final round, both riders are aiming to fight for the win, or at least the podium. This morning, in cool yet sunny conditions, the two Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders were out for first practice, a session they used to adapt their respective bikes to the Australian track. With a time of 1’35”141, Montella closed ninth, while a best of 1’36”052 saw Oncu place seventeenth.

In the afternoon’s second practice, both the Turk and the Italian made significant progress. Yari stopped the clock on 1’34”532, for overall fourth place in the combined standings, followed by Can, sixth with a fastest time of 1’34”673.

Tomorrow’s second day of action will see Oncu and Montella take part in Superpole and the first of the weekend’s races.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Supersport World Championship
Combined free practice results: 1) Bulega (Ducati) – 2) Caricasulo (Ducati) – 3) Aegerter (Yamaha) – 4) Montella (Kawasaki) – 5) Manzi (Triumph) – 6) Oncu (Kawasaki)

Can Oncu “This morning’s session was tricky, but in the afternoon things improved fortunately. We completed many laps in order to understand what direction to take and in the end, we’ve seen what to do. We still need to improve in certain sectors but, generally speaking, I think we’re ready for Superpole and Gara1. A big thanks to the team; they’re doing a great job.”

Yari Montella “A good day. Although we focused a lot on race pace, I also set some very fast laps that allowed me to finish fourth. We’ve done a good job and I’m pleased with the bike’s performance. There’s a chance of rain tomorrow so first we’ll need to see what the track looks like. The team are working so hard and I want to thank them for that.”

Saturday

Mahias scores points in WorldSBK Race 1 in Australia

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and rider Lucas Mahias today competed in the Superpole and first race making up the twelfth and final round of the Superbike World Championship. Yesterday saw the Frenchman complete the first free practice sessions, where he spent time adapting to the Australian track, one he’s never raced at with a superbike until now. With a time of 1’32”720, Lucas placed thirteenth overall. This morning, on a day that brought rain, Mahias was out for the third and final practice on a wet track, finishing fourteenth with a time of 1’43”706 but retaining thirteenth place in the combined standings.

The rain stopped shortly before the last Superpole of the 2022 season, which got underway in the early afternoon on an almost completely dry track. Despite the tricky conditions, the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider confirmed the progress seen yesterday. Improving on his best lap, Mahias set a 1’31”406 to qualify eleventh, which meant a fourth row start for the afternoon’s wet race. Mahias made a good start to the race and was lying in around tenth position. The rain soon stopped and the track quickly began to dry, which meant all riders had to pit and change over to slick tyres. Mahias made the change at the end of lap ten and returned to the track in fifteenth position. Avoiding any mistakes, Lucas made up one place and crossed the line fourteenth, scoring two championship points as a result.

Tomorrow the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider will contest the Superpole Race and the final Superbike race of the 2022 season.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Superbike World Championship
Combined free practice results: 1) Rea (Kawasaki) – 2) Bautista (Ducati) – 3) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 4) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) ……. 13) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Superpole: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Rea (Kawasaki) – 3) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 4) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 6) Gerlof (Yamaha) ……….. 11) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Race 1: 1) Rea (Kawasaki) – 2) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 3) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 4) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 5) Bautista (Ducati) – 6) Gerloff (Yamaha) ……… 14) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Lucas Mahias “This morning we found a good setup on the dry track but then we had to put in rain tyres for the race because the track was fully wet. I was still able to find good feeling with my Ninja in the wet anyway, but the track quickly dried out and I had to come into the pits to change the tyres. Once back on track, I found myself in fifteenth place and with the limited laps remaining, I wasn’t able to make up more than one position. We’ll take the points and focus on tomorrow, when I’ll compete in my last races with team Puccetti.”

Montella scores a fantastic win! Oncu, third, adds to Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s success at Phillip Island!

Day two of the twelfth and final Supersport World Championship played out today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia.

Yesterday, Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders Yari Montella and Can Oncu worked hard with their technicians to adapt their riding style and bikes to the Australian track. The Italian rounded out the day in fourth place with a 1’34”532, while the Turk followed close behind in sixth, thanks to a fastest time of 1’34”673.

The Superpole session that established the grid for the subsequent race ran on a wet track, after rain fell shortly before the start. Yari Montella put in an excellent performance, stopping the clock on 1’37”314 in the final stages to earn a front row start, third, on the grid. Can Oncu set a 1’38”018 that was enough to secure eighth place. The Turkish rider therefore lined up on row three for a race that ran in the rain in the early afternoon. Both riders made a very strong start and by the end of lap one Montella was lying second, immediately ahead of his team-mate. At the start of lap four, Yari moved into the lead with Can placing third. The Italian and another rider broke away from the rest of the group and battled it out for the win all the way to the last lap, when Montella’s rival crashed in his efforts to keep pace, leaving Yari to cross the line first and win his first ever Supersport race! Can Oncu also ran a strong race to finish third, rounding out a very successful day for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing!

Oncu has now mathematically secured third place in the championship standings, and holds 264 points, while Montella moves into seventh place with 160.

Tomorrow will see the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders back out for the very last race of the 2022 WorldSSP season.

Manuel Puccetti “A historic day for our team, with a fantastic win for Montella and an excellent performance from Oncu who has mathematically secured third in the general standings. An incredible win in a race that was made difficult by the track conditions, and so it’s thanks to the entire team, as well as Yari, as they have all worked so hard and deserve to be individually named. A victory and a podium that we dedicate to all our sponsors, with special thanks to Kawasaki, which has once again proved very competitive and for maestro Kenan Sofuoglu, who is extremely committed to helping his young riders grow.”

Can Oncu “I would maybe have been fourth today but Caricasulo crashed on the last lap so I got third place. This is racing. I am very happy of course to be on the podium even though the wet race package we had today was not so good. We have to be really proud because this year we did so many podiums compared to last year, so I think I have improved myself so much.”

Yari Montella “I ran a great race. I started not knowing what to expect in the wet conditions, but I quickly found feeling with the bike and track. Once I got into the lead, I battled to stay there, also because your visor would get dirty if you followed behind someone else. I put my rival under pressure and he crashed. We needed this win, which confirms our great progress. We were already strong in previous races, but now I feel in total control of the bike. I dedicate this win to my family and my team. We’ve worked and suffered together, and we deserve it!”

Sunday

Mahias in the points in the final championship race

The 2022 Superbike World Championship concluded today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in the state of Victoria in Australia. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias finished yesterday’s Superpole in eleventh place and Race 1, which involved a tyre change due to the altered track conditions, in fourteenth position.

Today opened with the ten-lap Superpole Race. Rainfall shortly before the start of the race made tyre selection difficult. The Frenchman opted for a rain tyre at the front and an intermediate rear. Mahias got away well from row four, moving into ninth place. The rain soon stopped though and, as the track quickly began to dry, Lucas began to have grip issues that caused him to lose two places. He was nevertheless able to score a positive result, crossing the line eleventh.

The day’s second and final race ran on a dry track but under cloudy skies. Lucas held his starting position but then lost ground as he battled inside the chasing group. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider was moving in on his closest rivals when a crash four laps from the end resulted in a red flag, which signalled the end of the race. Mahias was lying thirteenth at that moment and so rounded out his 2022 season with an additional three championship points.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Superbike World Championship
Superpole Race: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 3) Rea (Kawasaki) – 4) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 6) Redding (BMW) …… 11) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Race 2: 1) Bautista (Ducati) – 2) Rea (Kawasaki) – 3) Lowes (Kawasaki) – 4) Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) – 5) Locatelli (Yamaha) – 6) Rinaldi (Ducati) ………. 13) Mahias (Kawasaki)

Lucas Mahias “Today’s races were not easy, especially considering the weather and track conditions. In the sprint race, we went with a rain and an intermediate tyre, but the track then dried and I struggled with grip in the later stages. In the final race of the season, I was waiting to make a move on the last laps, but the red flag thwarted my plans. I reached the points zone again anyway, and that’s a positive. This was my last race with Manuel Puccetti’s team and I want to thank him and every member of the team with whom I’ve spent two unforgettable seasons.”

Fifth for Montella in Australia. Oncu falls but finishes third in the championship

The 2022 Supersport World Championship has concluded today at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia. Yesterday was an historic day for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing as it won Race 1 with Yari Montella and placed third with Can Oncu for a fantastic double podium. Today the two riders were back on track for the second and final race of this last WorldSSP round.

The race got underway in the afternoon on a dry track but under cloudy skies. Oncu and Montella started well when the lights went out, moving into fifth and sixth place respectively.

Unfortunately, the pair came into contact when they crossed lines and this resulted in a crash for the Turk. Can was unhurt but he was forced to retire from the race, while Yari received a long lap penalty for the contact with his team-mate. Around mid-race, and having completed his ‘long-lap’, the Italian rider was lying sixth and lapping with similar times to the frontrunners. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider was able to make up one position, crossing the line fifth.

In the general standings, Can Oncu concludes third with 264 points, while Yari Montella places seventh with 171.

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit – Victoria – Australia
Supersport World Championship
Race 2 – 1) Aegerter (Yamaha) – 2) Caricasulo (Ducati) – 3) Baldassarri (Yamaha) – 4) Bulega (Ducati) – 5) Montella (Kawasaki) – 6) De Rosa (Ducati) ……. DNF) Oncu (Kawasaki)

Can Oncu “Crashing on lap one due to a contact is not the way I wanted to finish the championship. I’d started strong and was in the leading group but couldn’t avoid the contact and the crash. That’s racing unfortunately. We console ourselves with third in the championship, which demonstrates the kind of season we’ve had. And for this I want to thank Manuel Puccetti, the whole team that has always done such a good job and Kenan Sofuoglu, who is always there for me and helps me so much.”

Yari Montella “I’m really sorry for coming into contact with Can and causing him to crash. The bike swerved and I wasn’t able to avoid it. I started well and was in the front group. Probably, without the long lap penalty, I’d probably have been able to fight for the podium, but I’m pleased with the rhythm I was able to maintain, and with my result. I want to take the opportunity to thank the entire team for their help and support throughout this fantastic season.”

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2022 in News

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