At last: Oncu claims maiden WorldSSP victory after Race 1 thriller at Mandalika
The Turkish star was congratulated by Rea and Razgatlioglu after claiming his first WorldSSP win in Indonesia
It was a dramatic Race 1 in the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit as Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) blasted off from the start to claim his first WorldSSP win during the Motul Indonesian Round. Oncu started from the front row and, with drops of rain falling at the start of the race, moved clear to win by more than three seconds for his first win at the 65th time of asking. Rain started falling before the start of the race but all riders opted to stay with slick tyres, with the rain not getting harder during the 18-lap race.
ONCU ON TOP: a first win in WorldSSP
At the start of the race, Oncu took the lead on the opening lap after starting from third place and from there he did not look back. The Turkish star, now in his fourth WorldSSP campaign, was able to use a combination of his pace and his rivals battling behind him to take victory by more than three seconds for his first WorldSSP win. Oncu became the fourth youngest winner in WorldSSP, behind Andy Verdoia, Manuel Gonzalez and Yoann Tiberio while also becoming the 60th different WorldSSP winner. It also ensured Kawasaki kept up an incredible run of 200 races in the points, while Turkey went level with Italy on 44 wins.
A STUNNING RIDE from @canoncu61 for #WorldSSP VICTORY at Mandalika #IDNWorldSBK pic.twitter.com/yqVCx7Xrik— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) March 4, 2023
The battle behind Oncu was an incredible fight between Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) and Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) with the pair consistently changing positions. It started on Lap 2 when Tuuli passed Caricasulo at Turn 10 for second place, before Caricasulo responded on Lap 8 at Turn 1 after he responded against Nicholas Spinelli (VFT Racing Yamaha) earlier on. At the end of Lap 11, Tuuli passed Caricasulo to move ahead again before the Italian responded on Lap 12 at Turn 1.
Caricasulo was able to resist Tuuli’s pressure throughout the closing stages of the race before pulling a gap over the Finnish rider to take his 28th WorldSSP podium, while Tuuli took his tenth podium in the Championship. It became the second time this trio shared the WorldSSP podium after Race 1 at Mandalika in 2021.
DE ROSA VS VAN STRAALEN… VS SCHROETTER: the fight for fourth
The battle for fourth was just as fierce as the battle for second between Raffaele De Rose (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) as three manufacturers battled hard. It was initially a fight between De Rosa and van Straalen before Schroetter closed the gap in the closing stages. The battle, however, ended when Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team), who closed the gap as the riders in front battled hard, collided with van Straalen at Turn 16 with the Dutchman going down before re-joining. It meant Schroetter took fourth spot at the end of the race ahead of Bulega in fifth, while De Rosa had been running in fifth before a puncture dropped him down the order before he retired from the race. Van Straalen re-joined the race following the crash in 11th place.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: taking advantage of drama
With all the drama ahead, riders were able to progress up the order. Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) took sixth place after fighting his way through the field, while Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was seventh. Manzi started from tenth, had made gains in the early stages before running wide and dropping to the back of the pack before recovering to seventh. Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) was eighth ahead of Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in ninth and John McPhee (D34G Racing) in tenth.
IN THE POINTS: hoping to build on a points-scoring position in Race 1
With Van Straalen in 11th at the end of the race, rookie Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took 12th place and was only half-a-second behind the Dutchman at the end of the race. Three more rookies rounded out the points-paying positions in Race 1 as Thai rider Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) took 13th place, ahead of PETRONAS MIE MS Racing HONDA duo Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin.
Timothy Joseph Cua Alberto (MTM Kawasaki), replacing the injured Adrian Huertas at Mandalika, was 16th on his WorldSSP debut while Harry Truelove (Dynavolt Triumph) was the last classified rider in 17th place.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP
Apiwath Wongthananon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) did not start Race 1. He had initially been ordered to start the race from the back of the grid, but the Thai rider did not take the start of the race. Spinelli crashed out of the race on Lap 9 after he lost the front of his Yamaha machine at Turn 6, while Andrea Mantovani (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) crashed at Turn 16 at the end of Lap 8. Mantovani was shown a black flag after the crash.
The top 6 from WorldSSP Race 1, full results here:
1. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
2. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +3.305s
3. Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) +4.172s
4. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +7.813s
5. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +11.558s
6. Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) +20.218s
Fastest lap: Can Oncu, Kawasaki – 1’35.728s
Don’t miss more WorldSSP action from Indonesia on Sunday using the WorldSBK VideoPass!