Oncu: "I don’t know what to say… my dream was, every time, to win a race and I did it!"

Tuesday, 7 March 2023 08:34 GMT

The Turkish star was left speechless after claiming his maiden WorldSSP victory in difficult conditions in Race 1 at Mandalika

A new name stepped onto the top step of the FIM Supersport World Championship podium at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit with Turkish star Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claiming his first victory in the Championship in tricky conditions during Race 1 of the Motul Indonesian Round. It was Oncu’s 65th race in WorldSSP when he claimed his first victory as he took his tally to 13 podiums in the Championship.

Race 1 in Indonesia was held in difficult conditions with a rain shower just before the start of the 18-lap race, but every rider opted to race on Pirelli’s slick tyres and, with the rain abating shortly after this proved to be the correct decision. Oncu started from third place but quickly leapt into the lead of the race on the opening lap and, by lap 5, his gap to the chasing pack had been extended to over a second as he took advantage of their squabbling behind him.

From that point, Oncu was able to manage his race while still extending the gap to the riders behind him as he claimed victory by more than three second at the end of the race ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) in second and Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) in third place. Oncu’s victory was the 44th win for Turkey while he also became the fourth-youngest winner in the Championship, behind Andy Verdoia, Manuel Gonzalez and Yoann Tiberio.

An emotional Oncu, after Race 1, said: “I’m so happy and I don’t know what to say! Phillip Island was really difficult. We came here and on Friday we didn’t have good pace. We said we would just for it. Today, we did it. It’s incredible. I want to say thanks to Kenan. Before the race, after the race, and on Friday evening, he called me and said ‘Can, you have to do it!’. I’m so happy. Thanks to Kenan, thanks to Puccetti Racing, thanks to Kawasaki. I did it!

“In the first laps, I made a gap of one second and I tried to be consistent and not make mistakes. To be honest, I was not pushing over the limit because I was thinking that every time I did, I finished the tyre and this time I have to not finish it. During the whole race, I was not at 100%, I was at a normal pace. If I needed more, I could go a little faster. I was so comfortable with my bike. My dream was, every time, to win a race and I did it.”

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