With a long five-week gap between the previous WorldSSP round and the forthcoming restart in the Netherlands Öttl and his crew have had time to prepare for a circuit that is well known to them all, although not yet as a combined rider and crew pairing.
As there was no Assen round last year due to Covid-19 restrictions Philipp did not get the chance to compete there in what was his rookie WorldSSP season. With over 20 individual races and several tests together since he joined the team last year the expectations are still strong for positive results at a circuit Philipp understands well after many years in the MotoGP paddock. He has even scored podiums at Assen in his early career as a Rookies Cup competitor.
With seven podium finishes across his 21 race starts in WorldSSP Philipp and his team will be targeting his first race win in this category to accelerate his championship challenge. He is currently fourth overall, with 72 points.
Öncü, who will turn 18 years old just after the completion of the Assen WorldSSP weekend, has already made over 20 career race starts. At Assen he will be all out to improve on his previous best WorldSSP race finish of sixth place, which he achieved in two rounds of the 2020 season.
One of the most promising talents in the strong field Can was Rookies Cup champion inside the MotoGP paddock in 2018. Memories of his Assen exploits in that class, with four wins out of four starts between 2017-2018, will help his confidence in approaching his first WorldSSP race at the famous ‘Circuit van Drenthe’ at Assen.
The unique 4.542km long racetrack in the north of the Netherlands is one of a few that can truly be described as iconic, having been established as a real roads circuit before undergoing many changes in layout to keep pace with the demands of contemporary racing.
There will be, as is the new normal in WorldSSP, two races at Assen, with Race One on Saturday 24 July and Race Two on Sunday 25 July.
A new track for WorldSSP racing - Most in the Czech Republic - will welcome the teams and riders between 6-8 August.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “After five weeks without a race I can’t wait to get back out there and to do it at an historic track like Assen. It’s like the start of a second part of the championship, in that from now on the breaks are shorter and the races closer together. I’ve never raced at Assen with a 600, only with the Moto3, but I like the Dutch track and think it can adapt well to our bike. I’m ready and highly motivated. I want to give it my all and continue to fight for the top positions.”
Can Öncü, stated: “Assen will be a brand-new experience for me with a Supersport bike, as we didn’t race here last year due to Covid-19. We didn’t achieve the desired results at Misano at the last round, but we continued along the path we’ve been travelling since the start of the season. That’s allowing us to continuously improve. I hope to find a good setting early on at Assen, so that we can achieve the kind of race results that the team and I deserve.“
Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is currently sitting in eighth place in the championship table, with a 2021 personal best of second at the opening round in Spain.
Michel Fabrizio (Motozoo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) had come out of retirement in the 2021 season and is currently 24th overall.
Shogo Kawasaki (Motozoo Puccetti Racing) will again join his team-mate Fabrizio at Assen. Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) backs up the efforts of the much more experienced De Rosa inside his team, having scored a point at his home round of Misano last time out.