Öttl placed third in Superpole qualifying and went on to repeat that result in the opening race itself, while his young Turkish team-mate Öncü was 16th on the grid for the start of the race, which was to be held in warm and dry conditions.
In securing his third place Öttl scored the 100th podium finish for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team, across all classes, since they first joined the WorldSBK paddock.
With track temperatures rising at the 5.077km long Motorland Aragon circuit before the start of the 15-lap WorldSSP race Öttl suspected that he may have some issues with traction over full race distance. With a good race set-up on his competitive machine he rode at the front all race long, and took the lead for three laps when the two-front runners clashed and crashed out of contention.
Eventually riding to contain a drop in rear traction as the race came to its conclusion the second year Kawasaki WorldSSP rider kept a cool head and took a strong podium finish in the important first race of the new season.
Öncü got off the line well and eventually went from 12th at the end of lap one to tenth in the final rankings. He too had some sliding issues, like his team-mate Öttl, but starting his season with a top ten finish earned him important points first time out.
Now the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing WorldSSP pairing will face another 15 lap race on Sunday 23 May before the championship moves on to round two in Portugal next weekend.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “It was a good race and I had a clean start. In the beginning I had a nice feeling with the bike but then suddenly towards the end the grip dropped dramatically. I thought, OK, I need to stay in the leading position as long as possible but in the end I was riding on eggshells. It was so slippery. The front was OK, the rear was the issue. I tried my best and today third was the best we could do, this morning in Superpole the same. I hope for a little bit cooler conditions tomorrow to not have problems later in the race. But it was still a good race. Sixteen points is a positive start. The bike on the straights was fast, and I am happy with that. Now we can keep up with the fastest. The team and the bike is an improvement compared to last year.”
Can Öncü, stated: “The race start was not bad, it was very nice. After a good start, in the middle of the race, I began to struggle in the fast corners. I had a little bit of sliding from the rear and I think tomorrow we could make one more step in this area. Up to 10-11 laps it was OK but then it became very difficult.”
Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was ninth in his first race for his new team. Former WorldSBK and WorldSSP star Michel Fabrizio (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) came back to global racing in points scoring form, finishing 14th after qualifying 21st. Shogo Kawasaki (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) placed 18th and Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 19th.