Two Kawasakis On The Podium As Luckless Sofuoglu Keeps HisChampionship Lead
July 3, 2012
Kawasaki Lorenzini Supersport competitor Sheridan Morais took his first WSS podium finish today but championship leader Kenan Sofuoglu was relegated from first to fifth by race officials.
A closely fought 18-lap WSS race was delayed after two riders collided on the start/finish straight and in the complete restart a top group of five riders made a break from the chasing pack.
Fighting each other and the effects of high winds the leading riders knew they were in a tough race from the start. After an altercation between Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) at the end of the 1.2km long straight, Race Direction penalised Sofuoglu with an order to drop three race positions. Sofuoglu continued to the flag and crossed the line ahead of all his rivals, only to be placed fifth in the final results after a penalty was handed down from race officials.
Sam Lowes won the race and is now second in the championship fight but Kenan’s misfortune did not prevent him from leaving with a clear championship lead of 16 points, heading Lowes 117 to 101.
After Kenan’s penalty Foret was awarded second place and Sofuoglu’s team-mate Sheridan Morais
scored a podium finish for the first time, in third. The South African rider has come close to the top three places before and his 16 points helped push his total to 53, placing him only a point from sixth in the rankings.
Foret’s young team-mate Romain Lanusse finished 11th, while rookie Joshua Day from the Kawasaki Team GO ELEVEN squad was a fine tenth.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I lost a lot of points today. I had many problems with my knee and I was not sure if I could even ride today, but even in this condition I feel I won the race. We made a lot of tape on my knee and I cannot move it fully so especially in the chicanes it was very difficult. I was very careful and we changed some things on the bike and I was able to ride my bike. We were very strong today in any case and still leave here with a good lead in the championship.”
Sheridan Morais: “I was hoping for the race to go on a bit longer because I ran off a few laps before the end and I was coming back towards the leaders a bit. It was really windy out there but the racing was awesome and I look forward to more of this for the rest of the season.”
Fabien Foret: “It was a tough race and I just did my best. I am happy with this podium place especially after losing a lot of points in Misano. We did a good job and I will try to go better next time.”
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