Sofuoglu obliterates opposition on Donington debut Kenan Sofuoglu led both legs of today's two-part World Supersport Championship race from start to finish for a convincing victory for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. The impressive race win enables...
Sofuoglu obliterates opposition on Donington debut
Kenan Sofuoglu led both legs of today's two-part World Supersport Championship race from start to finish for a convincing victory for HANNspree Ten Kate Honda. The impressive race win enables the young Turkish rider to extend his championship advantage from seven to 27 points over his nearest rival with a tally of 70.
Sofuoglu got off to a strong start from third on the grid for his first race at Donington Park's 4.02km track. He seized an early lead on the opening lap and set the pace with a blistering time of 1.34:577 - smashing James Whitham's existing Supersport lap record of 1.37:565. Despite a clutch problem with the CBR600RR and convincing challenges from Robbin Harms, the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider maintained station until the race was red flagged on lap 12 due to a multiple rider accident at Redgate.
The 22-lap race was re-started with 11 laps left to run and Sofuoglu - using his spare CBR600RR - once again stole the early advantage. However, Harms remained determined and passed the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider on lap 20. The series leader fought back to regain his place at the front of the pack one lap later and remained there until he passed the chequered flag.
The race win was particularly significant due to the fact that Sofuoglu's closest rivals were unable to complete the race. Kevin Curtain, Broc Parkes and team-mate Sebastien Charpentier failed to start the race due to injuries sustained during practice sessions and Fabien Foret retired early from the opening leg. Charpentier hopes to be back in action for round four of the championship at Valencia.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"Today Kenan had to do the honours for us with Sebastien out of the race and he really delivered. In the first part we could see he had some problems with his clutch so after his fantastic start he began to gradually drop back. You could say we were lucky that the red flag came out and we were able to change the bike. Again, he got off to a demon start and led the pack quite easily, but then he got a cramp in his forearms which slowed him slightly. Once again he has proved to be a great racer - he may not have been the quickest guy out there in the last laps, but for sure he fought hard for the lead and he maintains the championship lead. We don't want to take anything for granted because as we have seen this weekend, anything can happen. I hope that all three of the riders that crashed out this weekend will be back with us in Valencia for some more exciting Supersport racing."
"I am really happy because I have been very lucky this weekend. I was experiencing a clutch problem in the first part of the race and I was thinking to myself I cannot finish this race. I thought I would be joining the other championship title contenders with a zero point finish. Then I saw the red flag and I thought this is my chance. I was able to change the bike and pick up where I had left off. I started pretty well but then my forearms were really in pain and the last few laps were difficult. I had a small advantage from the first race so I managed to hold on and I got the win."