Can Oncu believes he’s ready to be Kawasaki’s main title hope for the 2022 WorldSSP championship. 

The Puccetti Kawasaki rider, who finished last week’s Jerez test second fastest to MV Agusta Reparto Corse’ Niki Tuuli, is expected to lead the Japanese manufacturer’s title challenge in 2022 following Philipp Oettl’s promotion to WorldSBK. 

Like Oettl, Oncu was unable to claim a race win during the 2021 campaign, however, the Turkish rider was often challenging at the front against Yamaha machines that appeared much more favourable to be on.

Oncu took all three of his podium finishes during the last 11 races of the season, while also finishing all-but one race outside the top ten (DNF at Catalunya). 

Oncu, who’s never been short on confidence, believes if there was a race tomorrow then ‘I would be ready to win’. Speaking after the Jerez test, Oncu told WorldSBK: "It was really positive. Today I did 81 laps and after about 65 laps I did a race simulation and every single lap was faster than last season’s race lap times. 

"It was an incredible and positive test. If tomorrow we had a race, I would be ready to win. 

"All I can say is that I feel much better than last year. Okay, last year I was ready, but this year every lap was faster and still I could do ten more laps or so." 

Should Oncu challenge for the 2022 title which his team boss Manuel Puccetti also highlighted as the goal for this year, then a move to WorldSBK would likely be on the table for 2023. 

Oncu’s attempt at becoming the first Turkish Supersport champion since mentor Kenan Sofuoglu will come aboard a ZX-6R Kawasaki bike that he claims to love due to it fitting ‘my hard braking style’.

"Everybody knows that Kawasaki is a good bike, it’s one of the best bikes. I’ve never rode another bike since I started in the Supersport challenge," added Oncu. 

"I really love this bike because it’s for my style. I can do very hard braking and it’s accepting everything that I need. 

"In this test we tried something more to improve the braking and we did a really big step. Last year was a learning year, but this year is the time to show. If it works out with the world title, it would be nice, but if it doesn’t work it would be okay."