Kawasaki Puccetti Racing had three bikes from two classes out on track at Jerez as the team gears up for the 2022 season
Manuel Puccetti and his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing had a very busy two-day test at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, with his teams in both the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and FIM Supersport World Championship taking to the track. With three full-time riders testing two different bikes with plenty of changes to the bikes, Lucas Mahias in WorldSBK and Can Öncü and Yari Montella in WorldSSP were kept busy throughout the two days.
MAHIAS RETURNS FROM INJURY AS KAWASAKI PUCCETTI CHANGES SUSPENSION
A scaphoid injury for French rider Mahias meant he missed the end of the 2021 season but made a welcome return to action at Jerez after four months without riding a Superbike machine, and three months without riding any sort of bike. It was also the first test of 2022 for the Kawasaki Puccetti outfit, and a first chance to test Öhlins suspension which they will run in 2022.
Discussing Mahias’ return to action, Puccetti said: “It was a good two days for him. He did a lot of laps after four months, a very long break. Three of these four months were completely without any arm activity after surgery. He’s happy. We had some updates on the bike and I see him very happy and motivated.”
Team Owner Puccetti also revealed details about new items the team would test over the course of testing: “We changed suspension; we try Öhlins. We found a deal for them for this year and it’s a completely new bike, completely different. We spent a few days on the first touch, and we are happy with the start. Lucas was happy to be back on the bike, mainly, and part of this is he’s very happy about the new change. Of course, we will need more laps to understand and to push the best with this new package.”
HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ÖNCÜ, MONTELLA ‘NEEDS TIME’ TO ADAPT
In WorldSSP, Can Öncü got to test with new teammate Yari Montella for the first time as the Italian rider makes the switch to WorldSSP. Öncü ended the 2021 campaign as a regular podium contender and will be hoping to build on that in 2022. Puccetti outlined his expectations for the season for the Turkish star as well as rookie Montella, whose first test with the team was marred by a few crashes but the Italian was able to get back on track each time.
Puccetti said: “Can, of course, is one of the riders that we believe that he will fight for the Championship this year. This is his third season on the Kawasaki and we really expect a lot from him. Today, it was a very good day for him. We did a lot of laps. He did his best lap time ever at this track today. He found a very good package and very high confidence. He tested many things including new brake discs and brake pumps and many other improvements on the bike. I think the bike has made a good step. Yari had a few crashes but it was his first two days of testing with the Kawasaki for him. We need to give him the right time to feel good on the bike and he’s coming from a completely different bike, in Moto2™ in the last three years and Moto3™ before so it’s the first time on the production bike and first time with Kawasaki. I think he has good potential.”
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