The 2007 World Superbike Championship arrives in Vallelunga, Italy this weekend for the penultimate round of what has been a thrilling season. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Kenan Sofuoglu has dominated the series - securing the title crown at Brands...
The 2007 World Superbike Championship arrives in Vallelunga, Italy this weekend for the penultimate round of what has been a thrilling season. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Kenan Sofuoglu has dominated the series - securing the title crown at Brands Hatch back in August.
The Turkish rider has also clinched ten podium finishes and become the first-ever World Supersport rider to claim fastest lap, best lap, pole position and a race win in one single round. As a reward for his success, Sofuoglu was given the opportunity to ride the Honda CBR1000RR in the Dutch Superbike Championship at Assen last weekend.
True to form, the young rider put in an impressive performance to bring home his first Superbike victory for Ten Kate Honda. Sofuoglu is now more motivated than ever and ultra-keen to prove himself with another Supersport race win at Vallelunga.
Team-mate Sebastien Charpentier is just as eager to do well in Italy after a season plagued with bad luck and injuries - including a pelvic fracture during round three. Vallelunga is a new addition to the World Supersport calendar and each rider will be looking to set a precedent at the 4.08km track. The aim for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda is to set the new circuit records.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"The main goal of the team is to try to win, but we also have the separate goal of developing parts on the CBR600RR for 2008. We are putting a lot of effort into this and we will test different parts at Vallelunga. The test we did there earlier this year was very successful and we were able to gather a lot of data to prepare the machines for racing at Vallelunga. All this work should help Kenan and Sebastien achieve strong results this weekend.
"We decided to enter Kenan for the Dutch Superbike race at Assen as a reward for his world championship win this year. He took things very seriously, posting impressive lap times and winning the first race. Of course, the Dutch championship is very different from World Superbikes as it is basically a Superstock machine with slick tyres. However, Kenan adapted very quickly to the machinery and got on really well."
"I can't wait for this weekend. I feel like I have something to prove after Lausitz. I really wanted to win there and I tried my best but it didn't work out. This weekend I am so determined and I really want to win the race. These could be my last two races in Supersport and I want to go out on top. My ambition is to get at least two podium finishes, but of course, I want the victories! I like to thank the team for giving me the chance to ride the Honda CBR1000RR last weekend at Assen - it was my first ever race experience with this machinery and I truly enjoyed it."
"I was disappointed at Lausitz. Qualifying went really well and I was on pole position, but immediately the grip on the tyre began to go and I couldn't push as hard as I wanted to. It's been a tough season, but I'm still determined to finish it with a successful race. The team is working really hard to solve the problems and I am confident we can end on a good note."