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Can The Podium Man In France
Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) turned his undoubted potential into his first WorldSSP podium finish by taking third place in Race Two at Magny Cours. Philipp Öttl and Can battled it out together on track at the end with Philipp securing fourth place and many more important championship points in the process.
A crash on lap one of the scheduled 19-lap Race Two saw the red flag brought out, bringing an end to the race after a multiple-rider collision at Turn 17 - the final chicane.
Both Philipp Öttl and Can Öncü avoided the accident and lined up for a shortened 12 lap race ready to compete at an even higher intensity than before.
Öncü worked his way to third early with Öttl a little behind him as they chased down the leaders Dominique Aegerter and eventual winner Manuel Gonzalez.
Philipp had the early pressure of Niki Tuuli to deal from behind with but he broke the tow and gradually caught up with Can near the end of the 12 laps.
The two leading Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R riders competed hard for the final podium on offer this weekend but the teenage Öncü became the third youngest ever podium finisher in WorldSSP with his confident top three finish.
After seven rounds of the championship have now been completed Philipp remains in third place overall, with an enhanced 178 points while Can has moved up to eighth with 90 points.
The Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya will host the next round of the championship, between 17-19 September.
Can Öncü, stated: “I said before this race that I could take a podium for Kawasaki. Kawasaki is a bike that can get on the podium but the only challenge is getting the race set-up correct. With a good set-up this podium arrived today and hopefully we will be nearer the front from now on. For sure this is our first but not our last podium and hopefully we will have much better ones in Barcelona. I want to thank everyone, especially Kenan Sofuoglu. When I was broken as a rider he prepared me again and I want to say thanks to all of the Turkish guys and everybody from Kawasaki Puccetti Racing.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “Today was a better race compared to the first one but still too short at only 12 laps. Yesterday we struggled more with the tire but in the warm-up this morning we came up with a better solution for our tire wear. Near the end, I could close the gap to Can. I passed him a few times but I was not able to make the move stick. I had the feeling that we were faster at that point - but only 12-laps in the race today. For the championship it was good, but as a race I was not 100% satisfied.”
Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) finished ninth today and is tenth in the championship with 77 points.
Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was up in 13th place near the end of the 12-lap race in France but fell on the final lap, remounting to finish 23rd.
Michel Fabrizio (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) and Hikari Okubo (GAP Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) did not race today, as the result of earlier crashes during the weekend.