Before the first race win of the 2021 season had been recorded by a Ninja ZX-6R rider Superpole qualifying was held on Saturday morning.
Philipp was eventually seventh and Can eighth on the grid, placing each rider on the third row. De Rosa had been fourth in qualifying.
Just as the WorldSSP teams were gathering for the sighting lap at the all new 4.3km long circuit in Indonesia spots of rain began to fall. The field took to the track on slick tyres for the 19-lap race but very soon rains reappeared a little heavier than before, changing the character of the race completely.
With the track now wet, but not completely, the fortunes of the top riders changed, even as the track conditions alternated between damp, drying them wet again. De Rosa made the most of his vast experience in this category to fight in the leading places throughout, leading on lap six, and then again from lap eight to the very end.
He came under intense pressure from new World Champion Dominique Aegerter at the end but held on to win by a narrow but vital 0.105 seconds.
Able to race at the front at times, Öncü was second on lap seven. He would finally finish seventh, just over six seconds from the winner.
Öttl’s chances of a good result were reduced as he lost feel from the track surface in wet conditions and he had no time left nearer the end to make real progress when the track was drier.
One more 19-lap WorldSSP race at Mandalika - the last of the exciting 2021 season - takes place on Sunday 21 November.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “It was not a very good race and I lost it, more or less, when it started to rain. I thought I could go with them but I couldn’t. I didn’t feel anything when I was riding in the rain. My last lap was good but I realised too late that the track conditions had improved. That was my problem today, not realising that the track was much better than it had been earlier.”
Can Öncü, stated: “The race was a little bit strange. What I learned is that you need to race how you can and if they touch you need to touch them back. I think tomorrow will be a different race. Hopefully it will be dry so we can show something better. The rain came a little bit more, then stopped, then came again. But the problem was not the rain, the problem was me. We will try again tomorrow.”
Raffaele De Rosa, stated: “I felt the pressure from Aegerter in the final laps but I did it! I am really happy because we are near the end of the season and we were fast. My race pace was good. I wanted to win to say thanks to my team, my family and my sponsors and tomorrow we will try to win."
De Rosa took his first race win in the WorldSSP racing class today, after 89 race starts. This is his first season racing the Ninja ZX-6R. Jeffrey Buis (G.A.P Motozoo Racing By Puccetti Kawasaki) finished in 16th position in Race One, just missing out on a championship point.