Philipp and his young team-mate Can had very different experiences on the opening laps of the race as the German rider fought hard to maintain his seventh place qualifying position while the Turkish teenager had a determined ride through from a lowly starting spot of 24th on the grid.
Öttl was as low as tenth after four laps but dug deep to maintain his best pace and track position, despite the hot track temperatures and an unavoidably too-long a first gear ratio to exit Navarra’s many low speed corners in an optimum way.
Regaining seventh place at the flag, after 20 laps of hard and highly focused work, Öttl replicated his grid position of seventh in the race for more valuable championship points.
For Öncü the race was a case of passing as many riders as possible and he went from 24th on the grid after Superpole to 14th in just one lap. He finished his exuberant first race at Navarra eighth, and took up track position just one place behind his team-mate after 16 laps of the eventual 20.
That thrilling comeback from a disappointing Superpole has energised Can for Sunday’s second 20-lap WorldSSP race, in which he hopes an even better set-up can help him make an even better result.
In the championship, with one more full race to go at Navarra on Sunday August 21, Philipp is a strong third place still, with Can ninth overall.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “Of course seventh place was not the dream position but today it was the maximum. I tried but still I could not find a good feeling for the bike, especially in those hot conditions. We need to adapt more. This is a very difficult track for us. We have seven first gear corners and our first gear is quite long. We cannot go so short with the overall gearing because otherwise we cannot got into the fast first corner without everything being on the rev-limiter. In the race I felt not so bad and I tried to keep calm - but we always fight for the maximum and the team does a great job to help me.”
Can Öncü, stated: “I started the race in 24th place but we did a great job to recover to finish eighth. It was really positive race. We just need to look forward and concentrate to make another step tomorrow. Of course every race we can see that we all do a good job but now for the next race we need to improve the lap time when riding alone. If we can do this we will reach another level. We just need to look forward and try to make one more step tomorrow.”
Late replacement rider Hikari Okubo (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) had a strong ride to 12th place but the luckless Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) fell and rode back to the pits to retire.
Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) placed 24th in Race One at Navarra but Michel Fabrizio (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) was forced to retire.