CHARPENTIER WINS AS SOFUOGLU TAKES THIRD ON HIS DEBUT Reigning Supersport champion Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) scored his first win at the Losail International Circuit, after an impressive display of front-running...
CHARPENTIER WINS AS SOFUOGLU TAKES THIRD ON HIS DEBUT
Reigning Supersport champion Sebastien Charpentier (Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) scored his first win at the Losail International Circuit, after an impressive display of front-running saw him lead every single one of the 18 laps. He also took the new lap record of 2'03.921, which was less than nine tenths from his new circuit best from qualifying. Having led most of the 2005 race at Losail, only to finish second behind his team-mate, Charpentier had all the motivation he needed to win this time around. After dropping his closest challenger Kevin Curtain with a handful of laps to go, he ran out a clear victor by 5.396 seconds.
To add to the unbounded joy of the whole Winston Ten Kate Squad, new signing Kenan Sofuoglu scored a fine third place in his first Supersport race for the team. At one stage had claimed the lap record for his own, shortly before Charpentier's late burst of record speed. Each Winston Ten Kate rider can now go to the Phillip Island race next weekend in the certain knowledge that their fast off-season form has carried on in real race conditions.
Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager
"Obviously a great start of the season, having both riders on the podium is ideal. Seeing Sebastien win might not be a big surprise for a lot of people but it doesn't diminish the achievement for all of is. There are new bikes in the field this year and it is good to know that the CBR600RR is still the gold standard in World Supersport. To get Kenan on the podium is special, because he rode a very mature race. When he realised he couldn't get to the winning position himself, but was clear in third, he took it home safely. That was a solid result we can build on for the future. What else can I say except that I am a very happy man."
Sebastien Charpentier -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(1st -- 25 points)
"In testing in December we made a lot of improvements and set some good times here in Qatar. We pushed very hard for many laps, and today we did 2'04s consistently, with some '2'03s, so I am very pleased about that. It improved on last year and proved to us that we have many possibilities this year. I felt very comfortable on the bike and we are in a good condition. Kenan did very well; he is young and hungry to finish on the podium so it's perfect for me. You need a fast rider in your team to compare yourself against."
Kenan Sofuoglu -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(3rd -- 16 points)
"I am very happy with this result, even after we knew would could be fast after the pole time I set. I ran in the first group in the race, and even though it was very difficult in the first laps, I knew I could go with them. After ten laps I was in third position and I realised that I had to keep the podium, so I stopped trying to challenge Kevin Curtain for second. This is a good result for us and thanks to the team for providing me with such a fast bike. The bike is completely different from my 2005 Superstock machine, there are many things you can change in Supersport, and more you can do with suspension."