Rain plays havoc in WorldSSP Free Practice as Oncu claims top spot ahead of Tuuli and Vostatek

Friday, 19 April 2024 10:17 GMT

After the track dried throughout the morning, the rain fell again in WorldSSP Free Practice and limited dry-weather running

Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) topped a wet Free Practice session at the TT Circuit Assen as he took advantage of the track’s best conditions to go 1.4 seconds faster than his rivals in the FIM Supersport World Championship. With the rain falling in the opening stages, and getting heavier at the halfway mark, laps were limited in what turned into a quiet opening WorldSSP session of the Pirelli Dutch Round.

With drops of rain reported in sectors one and four in the first 10 minutes of the session, very few representative lap times were set, with most riders opting to remain in the box rather than venture out in the cold with mixed conditions on track. With just over 25 minutes remaining in the session, rain was reported in all sectors, curtailing any dry running teams and riders had planned for FP1. It left Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) on top with a 1.44’919s – some six seconds down on last year’s FP1 time – ahead of Niki Tuuli (EAB Racing Team) and Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph), with 2.6 seconds separating the top three, after the trio went out in the early stages of FP.

Familiar surnames finished in fourth and fifth, with Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) taking P4 with a 1’47.810s, beating teammate Tom Edwards by more than 1.5 seconds in the 40-minute sessions. Glenn van Straalen (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) moved into sixth despite setting his best lap time – a 1’51.534s – in the fully wet conditions. Raffaele De Rosa (QJMOTOR Factory Racing) was seventh on his SRK 800 RR machine, with Thailand’s Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) in eighth. Wildcard Twan Smits (Team Apreco) was ninth with Krittapat Keankum (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) rounding out the top ten.

With the rain falling harder, riders opted to head out on a fully wet circuit with around 18 minutes left on a wetter track to get some wet weather running ahead of this afternoon’s Tissot Superpole session, with any laps run in Free Practice potentially pivotal in determining who will come out on top and claim pole position for Saturday’s Race 1.

The top six from WorldSSP Free Practice, full results here:

1 Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 1’44.919s

2. Niki Tuuli (EAB Racing Team) +1.436s

3. Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph) +2.602s

4. Oliver Bayliss (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) +2.891s

5. Tom Edwards (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) +4.569s

6. Glenn van Straalen (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) +6.615s

Next up for WorldSSP is Tissot Superpole! Don’t miss any of it from 16:00 Local Time (UTC+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!