FROM THE FEAR TO BE “UNFIT” TO THE BEST FRIDAY OF THE SEASON SO FAR!
A busy and almost unexpected Friday to say the least. Yesterday evening, after the first medical check that hadn’t guaranteed the “fit” to ride, Philipp had to carry out a training session, to check the conditions with high heart rate; everything seemed fine, so much so that he was allowed to access FP 1. As soon as he got on track he proved to be fast and consistent right from the first laps, 12 chrono laps at an impressive pace that gave him seventh position. In the last step, some problems come up; the German rider experiences strange sensations, almost as if he was a bit “not fully focused”. He stops, in the box he is checked several times by the Clinica Mobile, but asks to make one last run to understand if this strange feeling is given by his neck conditions combined with the bumps of the Australian track, or if it really is the case to stop. On the second outing, the sensations improved, nothing too strange, just pain in the neck and in the lower back. So, speaking about times, here at Philipp Island, Oettl looks like a hammer; all laps on a similar pace, even with 20-lap tyre. He finishes seventh without using a new tyre in the last minutes.
P 1 J. Rea 1.31.284
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.022
P 3 T. Razgatlioglu + 0.320
P 7 P. Oettl + 1.382
After FP 1, a further check allowed Philipp to take part to FP 2. Here the team’s strategy saw the use of two new tyres, the two new compounds brought here by Pirelli, due to the high drop faced in the last years. On the first run he improves a few tenths compared to the morning, then sets up a long run always staying on 32 high / 33 low. He encounters some problems especially in the two braking sections of the circuit, turn 4 and turn 10, where he couldn’t stop the bike perfectly. But throughout the fast part, that of the big corners, he is fast and constant. At the end he puts on new tyres, and with only one lap available he improves by half a second, dropping below 32. Checkered flag, seventh place confirmed and Best Independent Rider of the day.
Free Practice 2:
P 1 J. Rea 1.31.127
P 2 A. Bautista + 0.105
P 3 A. Lowes + 0.289
P 7 P. Oettl + 0.869
What has just ended is definitely the best Friday of the whole season. Philipp has been constant, fast and every time he has entered the track he has always been able to improve in some aspect. It’s still too early to be happy, the points will be awarded from tomorrow onwards, so the team will have to work to improve a few tenths. However, it remains an almost unexpected performance after last Sunday’s forfait and the uncertainty about being “fit”. Not only is Philipp fit, but he seems really intent on fighting for something important here in Phillip Island!
Saturday Schedule (local time/ english time):
FP 3: 10.50 – 11.20 / 23.50 – 00.20
Superpole: 13.10 -13.25 / 02.10 – 02.25
Race 1: 16.00 / 05.00
Philipp Oettl (Rider):
“I am really happy about today performance! Yesterday I was not even sure to be fit to Race, and today I had a really solid day. Honestly I have to thank the physiotherapist of Bonovo and the guys from the Clinica, their treatments helped me a lot and they will help me through the weekend. We found a good set-up with the bike, we have to improve in the braking area, but I think we have good starting point for tomorrow. In both sessions we have been strong, and I am really happy both to feel quite good on the bike and with the work of the Team. Now let’s hope races will be dry in the next days, but anyway we have to fight in every condition!”