Front Row Start For Sofuoglu In Australia

February 25, 2012

WSS, Phillip Island, Australia

Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini rider Kenan Sofuoglu earned a front row start, in fourth place, after the final qualifying session at Phillip Island, setting a best lap time of 1’34.577 in hot conditions.

After the tragedy of a fatal accident during a support race the second Supersport qualifying session started later than scheduled but was run in its entirety.

Sofuoglu was on his usual swashbuckling form this afternoon, pushing hard to record a time only 0.132 seconds from pole, in what was a very close session for the top four riders.

Just behind him Kawasaki Intermoto Step rider Fabien Foret went fifth, with Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini rider Sheridan Morais sixth after putting together all his set-up data together in the final session before warm-up tomorrow morning.

Hot conditions are expected to arrive at Phillip Island for raceday once again and track temperatures reached almost 60°C today. Shortly after 19.30 on Saturday evening it was announced that the championship organisers had shortened the race to 15 laps and not the scheduled 21. This was done to make sure the tyres will last in these extreme temperatures, on a circuit with many long left hand corners.

Tragedy hit the PI meeting when young local rider Oscar McIntyre suffered fatal injuries in an accident during the Australian 600c Superstock Championship race. Everyone involved in Kawasaki’s racing activities offers their sincere condolences to Oscar’s family and friends.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “Everything is good and we improved the set-up a lot, I think. I really tried for a lap time but I am not happy that I could not take pole because I missed a few things in my fastest lap and I found some traffic. So to qualify on the front row of the grid was not so bad. I did a race run this morning to I think we are really ready for the race. I should be strong so hopefully we should fight for the win.”

Sheridan Morais: “It was just an improved set-up on the bike that put me up to sixth. Yesterday we just focused on getting everything right for the race while a lot of people were putting on soft tyres all the time, going for lap times. Today I could work on some lap times and in the free practice we showed we could set some fast time, then in qualifying the first soft tyre that I put on I did my best lap time on. When I went out after that on soft tyres there was just so much traffic! People were coming out of the pits and obviously looking for a tow, so while they were doing that they were holing us up. I did not beat my first lap time on a fresh tyre, but I know that I could have, so I think we did a good job of getting the bike right.”

Fabien Foret: “I had only one soft tyre and I got caught up behind some other riders so I could not really improve my times. Some guys are fast for one lap or two but I feel we will be stronger in the race, so let’s see for tomorrow.”