The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

19 May 2021

Kawasaki’s WorldSSP Season Draws Near

The 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship has emerged from its long winter break and will burst into life at Motorland Aragon between 21-23 May. Philipp Öttl and his new Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team-mate Can Öncü will take on a strong field from round one to the end of the season in November.

After making a serious debut in the 2020 WorldSSP championship and finishing third overall in his rookie season, Öttl is back with even higher expectations for 2021. Taking a total of four podiums last year he is out to win races and ultimately challenge strongly in a championship fight, which looks wide open given the strength in depth through the field.

Öncü, having been a WorldSSP rider with Puccetti connections last year, has now been drafted into the full Kawasaki Puccetti Racing squad for his latest global campaign. He was 12th overall in his rookie 2020 season, with two sixth place finishes the main highlights so far.

Lucas Mahias, the WorldSSP championship runner-up last year, has moved up to the WorldSBK class inside the Puccetti awnings but in Öttl and Öncü the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team has two very strong riders to continue its WorldSSP ambitions.

A longtime member of the MotoGP paddock in the two smaller racing classes, Öttl is now 25 years of age, while Öncü will still only be 17 years old as he starts his second WorldSSP year. Öncü was the Rookies’ Cup Champion in the MotoGP paddock in 2018.

As part of their pre-season build up both Philipp and Can have ‘tested by racing’ in some CIV Italian championship rounds recently, so both should be race-sharp from the very first session of an eagerly awaited new championship campaign.

There are some changes to the shape and size of the 2021 WorldSSP race weekends in 2021. There will be no FP3 practice on Saturday, and a slightly shorter Superpole qualifying session. The 2020 initiative of having two races per weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, has been retained. Therefore, without a WorldSSP Championship race at Donington Park scheduled in July there should be no fewer than 24 points scoring WorldSSP races in all.

The 5.077km long Motorland Aragon circuit is a fixture on the calendar now after its first use by WorldSSP in 2011. Aragon’s season opener will be followed just days later by the Estoril Round in Portugal, to be held between 28-30 May.

Philipp Öttl, stated: “I can’t wait to race at Motorland Aragon. We haven’t raced for months and both me and the team are ready for it. Winter testing’s been very positive and we’re all really motivated and keen to see the fruits of our efforts over the winter. I think the Aragon track is great, I really like it, but at the same time it’s not one that particularly suits our bike. We’ll work hard right from Friday before finally lining up against our rivals and seeing exactly where we are.”

Can Öncü, stated: “The Aragon track is one of my favourites, and so that’s another reason I hope to do well in this first round of the Supersport championship. Competing in the CIV at Mugello and then testing at Misano a few days ago has helped us get into race mode, and we also found some good solutions for my bike. I can’t wait to get out on track and give it my all.”

As well as the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders there will be strong WorldSSP efforts from permanent riders Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and returning WorldSSP and WorldSBK star Michel Fabrizio (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki). They each have a team-mate running in the WorldSSP Challenge class, designed for part-time WorldSSP riders. Leonardo Taccini will join Orelac Racing VerdNatura for the European based rounds, while Shogo Kawasaki will run in Motozoo Puccetti Racing colours at the European races.