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Podium Success For Öncü
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Öncü bounced back strongly in the second WorldSSP race at Phillip Island to record his first podium of the 2023 season. The appearance of Cape Barren geese on the racetrack ended the planned 18 laps race after only 13 laps, with Can in third place at that stage, and this classified third in the final results.
Öncü was in confident form all through the second race of the weekend, forming a leading group of three with eventual race winner Nicolo Bulega and second placed rider Stefano Manzi. Can is now eighth overall in the championship standings, after the two PI races.
Unlike Race One the second contest was run in warm and sunny conditions.
With five laps remaining the red flag came out while Can was third, and riding in a close group with his immediate competitors. The top trio were well clear of the chasing riders, but the crowd were deprived of a full grandstand finish after the appearance of the red flags five laps early. Having covered more than 2/3rds of race distance, there was no requirement for a restarted race.
There will be little time to rest after the completion of the Phillip Island race weekend as the second round of the championship takes place at the Mandalika circuit in Indonesia between 3-5 March.
Can Öncü, stated: “The race was good, I think. We did a good job and improved a lot. I enjoyed racing with these guys at the front a lot, especially after the bad luck of yesterday. I am happy to be back on the podium and I want to continue like that, at full gas and pushing. I will enjoy racing at Mandalika next week and now we will have some days off, with good motivation. I think we will be even more ready in Mandalika and I will try to win both races there.”
A podium rider on Saturday, John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing Kawasaki), started from 18th place on the grid in Race Two and finished 12th after the red flag intervention. His remarkable 16 points from Saturday and four from today place him in overall fifth place.
Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) has been diagnosed with a fifth lumber vertebra fracture, and some broken ribs, after his heavy fall and collision with another rider in Saturday’s WorldSSP race. He is currently in Albert Hospital in Melbourne, for more assessments.