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Öncü Fourth After Bold Leading Ride
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Öncü set out to repeat his Race One victory from Saturday in the second FIM Supersport World Championship race at Mandalika. He led for much of the race after catching early front man Nicolo Bulega. Can was caught and re-passed by three riders before the finish but still secured a strong fourth place.
Öncü was part of an early three rider leading group during the very hot second race, which was delayed by a few minutes after a stopped-and-restarted WorldSBK Superpole Race which was held immediately before the 18-Lap WorldSSP Race Two.
Can pushed on to take the lead on lap three, but without the cooler conditions he experienced on Saturday to work with, he could not create a significant gap to the chasing riders. He was finally overtaken on lap 13 and only just missed out on a podium finish. Can was only 3.148 seconds from the winner in Race two.
Adding his 13 points from Sunday’s race to the maximum 25 he scored on Saturday, Can leaves Mandalika in third place in the overall rankings, 23 points behind championship leader Bulega.
There is now a significant gap in the WorldSSP calendar, with Round Three taking place at the classic Assen TT Circuit between 21-23 April.
Can Öncü, stated: “We did a good job, I think. We were faster than yesterday, just not fast enough. We have to improve and in the hot conditions we know we suffer every time. And today was much hotter than Saturday. But I think it is OK because at least we took good points. We did consistent laps but the other guys were faster at the end. We did not ‘drop’, we just suffer a bit in hot conditions. Now we will work more and come back fast at Assen, which is one of my favourite tracks. We will continue there.”
John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) battled hard and well to finish 11th in Race Two, and is seventh in the championship standings. Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto (MTM Kawasaki), replacing the injured Adrian Huertas, was 17th in Race Two.