SOFUOGLU FASTEST DESPITE DESERT RAINS IN QATAR A sensational debut for new Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu saw him score provisional pole position in what were unexpectedly wet surface conditions at Losail. Such was his pace that...
SOFUOGLU FASTEST DESPITE DESERT RAINS IN QATAR
A sensational debut for new Winston Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu saw him score provisional pole position in what were unexpectedly wet surface conditions at Losail. Such was his pace that he was almost two seconds clear of his nearest challenger, Kevin Curtain. To make Sofuoglu's impact all the more remarkable, this was his first ever World Supersport timed session, and despite his lack of experience Sofuoglu made the best of his recent test experiences at Qatar, and the slowly drying line around the circuit in the last few minutes of action.
The 5.4km track, in the deserts outside Qatari capital Doha, was not so kind to reigning World champion Sebastien Charpentier, who started his title defence for his Winston Ten Kate Honda team with the 12th fastest time of the 33 starters. Unhappy with early track conditions when the rains were at their worst, he sat out the morning untimed session, venturing out in the afternoon to put in a safe qualifying lap, even though conditions are fully expected to be dry from now on.
Ronald Ten Kate -- Team Manager
"It's peculiar to have rain once more in Qatar, in a place where you expect it the least. But the circumstances on track are the same for everyone, so it is good to see Kenan performing well. He has shown more of his potential today and has been very good in testing in the off-season. Tomorrow may be a very different day when it is dry, and I'm sure Sebastien will be picking up a bit of form in those conditions. Sebastien has a quite good rhythm at the moment, and he thinks he can immediately pick up the pace he enjoyed in testing, when he was two seconds quicker than the former best. But for now, I think Kenan will sleep very well tonight, and he can enjoy the moment."
Kenan Sofuolgu -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(Provisional Pole -- 2'21.890 )
"I am very happy about this but it was in wet conditions. If I can score this position again in the dry tomorrow, then I really will be happy. In the rain we are not so bad, but if I can be second in the dry conditions, behind Sebastien, then I will be even happier."
Sebastien Charpentier -- WSS Winston Ten Kate Honda Rider
(12th -- 2'27.755)
"I'm happy because I qualified at least, in 12th. I felt bad on the bike right away because the track was not clean. I didn't ride in the morning free session, but tomorrow is a new day. The bike is ready and the weather should be better, so I am prepared. Kenan did very well, he is a good asset for the team. Today was difficult for me, but I have good possibilities here when it dries out, because of the very positive test we made here in the winter."