Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) repeated his wet weather podium pace, first shown in 2021 at Motorland Aragon, by finishing third in Race One.
The opening WorldSSP Race of Round Eight was started in dry conditions, before the arrival of rain soaked the entire 4.657km long circuit just after the action had got underway.
With all the riders on slick tyres the main competitors for the win opted to change to wets quite early but they had to hunt down leading rider Loic Arbel after their pitstops, as he had elected to stay out on track on his dry tyre options in spite of the wet track surface.
Both Kawasaki Puccetti Racing riders contested the podium places, with Öncü confident he could make it to the podium again, as he had in the previous round at Magny Cours.
A slightly too long pitstop to change to wet tyres cost Can time and he just missed out on another podium, finishing fourth after 18 hard-riding laps in the difficult and ever-changing conditions.
Öttl’s pit stop was fast and efficient but he was eventually penalised for being just a fraction under the mandatory Pit Lane Intervention Time. He had almost two seconds added to his final race time but it made no difference to what would be an eventual fifth place overall finishing position.
This was the second year in succession that the WorldSSP race had been decided in many respects by a sudden downpour and unexpected tyre changes, a situation all the riders will be keen to avoid in Sunday’s second 18-lap WorldSSP Race at Barcelona Catalunya.
Can Öncü, stated: “In general we did a good job but sometimes bad luck happens. We lost some seconds in the pits and we lost a podium chance but we will try again tomorrow. It is a shame because we had a good pace in the changing conditions and we could have made a very strong result again after the podium in France last time.”
Philipp Öttl, stated: “A very, very strange race. I do not know what to say because I am a little bit happy and a little bit sad because I wanted to be on the podium, but today it was impossible. I did not have the rhythm for it and I also didn’t realise if it was dry or wet because I had a dark visor on as there was no time to change it. The pit stop was incredibly fast and the guys did a good job, with a cool head.”
Raffaele De Rosa, stated: “I am really happy. After one lap the rain came and it was a very strange situation because after three or four laps the track started to become dry again. It was very difficult to manage the tyres from then on. I am very happy for my team because they work every day to help me and they do a good job.”
Michel Fabrizio (G.A.P. Motozoo Racing by Puccetti Kawasaki) was 21st today and Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 23rd. Shogo Kawasaki (G.A.P. Motozoo Racing by Puccetti Kawasaki) was finally 24th, although he had been second after staying out on his slick tyres for a time early in the race.