As the championship now embarks on the first of three European back-to-back rounds, ten-times podium finisher Öttl and one time third place finisher Öncü are focused on matching the challenges posed by the famous Catalunya circuit.
The first task for each rider, now in their second year of full-time WorldSSP competition, is to learn the new section of track that forms Turn 10. That gives the layout a slightly different configuration compared to last year, when Philipp secured one of his WorldSSP podium finishes, in Race Two. It was also the first time that Philipp had led a WorldSSP race, for three laps, before finally finishing third.
Öttl’s 2021 team-mate Öncü has shown great potential in many previous WorldSSP races but his third place finish in Race Two at Magny Cours a few days ago has boosted his confidence tremendously, making him aim higher than ever in the next few races.
The Barcelona - Catalunya circuit is a popular one with the riders and has already provided drama, in the shape of a sudden downpour during the first WorldSSP race there last year, which led to controversy over who finished where under new regulations governing flag-to-flag races.
As things stand before the two WorldSSP races at Barcelona - Catalunya, to be held on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September, Philipp is in third place overall, with 178 points. Can is eighth, with 90 points.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “I like the circuit and I think the next three race weekends will be quite hot, which is not a problem. There is a new Turn 10 at Catalunya and because we have not tested there we will have to learn that section - but I am sure it won’t be a problem. Last year we were quite successful there so this year we can do it even better. The approach to the beginning of these three rounds back-to-back is like normal, maybe just try to relax more between the races as it will be more demanding for the body with no weekend off in between.”
Can Öncü, stated: “We got our first podium last time in Magny Cours and hopefully we will have even better ones. In Barcelona in practice I am sure I will not be so good again but in qualifying I will try to get inside the top ten. That would be like a pole position for me! In the races, if we get a good start that means we are already in the top group. I am not a practice guy but the race is a different story. In the races for sure you will see my name near the top. We have found some things in our set-up that we have improved and I think with a small step more we can win.”
Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and his team-mate Leonardo Taccini will arrive in Catalunya in tenth and 41st places in the championship, respectively.
Michel Fabrizio (G.A.P. Motozoo Racing by Puccetti Kawasaki) and his team-mate Shogo Kawasaki will both compete at the forthcoming Barcelona - Catalunya round.