Sofuoglu The Champion With Kawasaki In Supersport!
September 24, 2012
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) secured the title in the FIM Supersport World Championship
today at Portimao with a controlled second place, only 0.645 seconds from another race win.
The 20-lap race at the Portuguese circuit of Portimao was a classic encounter, with up to five riders in the leading group at any one time, but with Sofuoglu just having to finish somewhere near the front he was happy to allow eventual race winner Jules Cluzel to keep the lead to the end.
Sofuoglu made a late push to ensure he would get in the podium on his own merit and not just as the new champion. After a tough but ultimately successful year he was most interested in sealing what is his third World Championship in this class without any last lap risk.
Kenan is the most successful rider in WSS history and allied to his Kawasaki Lorenzini Ninja ZX-6R he has been a potent force throughout the season, winning four races - so far. Kenan now joins Andrew Pitt as a rider who has won the WSS Championship on a Kawasaki.
The career statistics for Kenan are simply outstanding, with three titles (2007, 2010 and 2012), 48 podiums from 68 races, and a record total of 21 individual race wins. Four of those wins and nine of the podiums have come in his first year as a Kawasaki rider.
Kenan was joined on the podium today by third place finisher Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing) while Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) battled hard to go sixth today and be sixth overall in the championship with one round to go.
MSD R-N Team India Kawasaki rider Dan Linfoot was an impressive seventh today, his team-mate Florian Marino unlucky to miss a point in 16th place. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) was 19th.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “We knew that we did not have to come to Portugal to win the race to win the title. We had a few problems with set-up yesterday but we were in good shape today and I could take the lead. I made some mistakes and dropped back. I knew I only had to finish fourth but in the last couple of laps I thought I would try to take a podium so I finished second. Sometimes in the race I was thinking that I was already going to be World Champion, so I was asking myself why I had to take more risk, so I was careful, especially on the last lap not to attack Cluzel in the lead. It was great to win the title with Kawasaki but it has not been an easy year for us. I have had some problems with my knee injury but we won the title with one race to spare and I am very happy to have done it with Kawasaki. They gave me a good opportunity to win the title with them and finally I was able to give them the answer, so big thanks to them. I am very happy for them and Lorenzini. It is difficult to compare championships with each other but at one point this season I was very afraid because I had some bad luck but the last couple of races I knew could win the title without any mistakes in the final rounds. WIinning races brings me confidence. To win the title in the first year with Kawasaki makes me very happy.”
Sheridan Morais: “I got a decent start but once near the front I ran wide at turn five a few times and lost two or three seconds, so I just could not close the gap. I could maintain it but not close it, no matter how hard I tried, and I tried really hard. It was a tough race but I earned some good points and I am sixth in the championship. So I am looking forward to the next round in Magny-Cours. Well done to Kenan and everybody for winning the championship.”