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22 April 2023

Öncü Fights Hard But Misses Podium

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Can Öncü finished the first Assen WorldSSP race in seventh position, despite occupying second place for much of the 18-lap race.

Dry weather and the prospect of a podium result saw Öncü and his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team full of expectation for a strong result in Race One at Assen.

Having qualified fifth in Superpole, Can was soon into second place behind runaway winner Nicolo Bulega. Can remained second until he was passed on lap 13.

Öncü continued in a podium scoring position of third until lap 16, but then lost more places to take seventh at the flag.

An unexpected loss of front tyre grip left Can vulnerable to the late attacks from his rivals, but he was still the top scoring Kawasaki rider.

WorldSSP Race Two at Assen takes place on Sunday 23 April, at 12.30 local time.

Can Öncü, stated: “In Superpole I was just about able to score fifth place and so I started from row two in the opening race. I pushed hard right from the start and this meant that the tyre soon showed signs of wear. Unfortunately, in the final stages the front tyre was completed finished and I had to slow down. My seventh-place finish does not reflect our overall pace, nor our potential. We will try to make up for this in Sunday’s race.”

John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) crashed early in Race One, while Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) finished 13th, despite being penalised for exceeding track limits.

Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing Kawasaki) finished 15th (and was also penalised for a track limits infraction). Tom’s team-mate Luke Power was a non-finisher after crashing at Turn Ten. Yuta Okaya (Prodina Kawasaki Racing) was 23rd on his first race weekend in WorldSSP.