HANNspree Ten Kate Honda dominates Supersport podium HANNspree Ten Kate dominated today's World Supersport race in Valencia in a thrilling one-two podium finish. Kenan Sofuoglu took the race victory while temporary team-mate Andrew Pitt...
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda dominates Supersport podium
HANNspree Ten Kate dominated today's World Supersport race in Valencia in a thrilling one-two podium finish. Kenan Sofuoglu took the race victory while temporary team-mate Andrew Pitt passed the chequered flag in second place. The stunning success leaves Sofuoglu with a 95-point lead in the standings - a huge 44 points ahead of nearest rival Fabien Foret.
The first nine laps of the eventful fourth-round race saw a four-way battle for the top positions between Sofuoglu, Pitt, Kevin Curtain and Pere Riba. Sofuoglu led from the off, closely followed by Pitt. However, Curtain and Riba soon caught up as the four swapped places numerous times in a thrilling display of inch-perfect riding.
On lap nine, misfortune struck for three of the front runners as Riba crashed out taking Curtain and Katsuaki Fujiwara with him. This left the way open for the two HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders to slip into the first and second positions. The pair maintained station for the next 13 laps with Sofuoglu holding an impressive lead of over 3 seconds.
Only on the final lap did third place rider Gianluca Nannelli make a convincing attack on Pitt. The Spanish rider passed the Australian for a nail-biting few seconds before Pitt snatched it back and crossed the finish 4.911 seconds after first place Sofuoglu. The Turkish rider's third race win of the year means that HANNspree Ten Kate Honda maintains it series lead going into the team's home race in Assen in two weeks time.
Ronald ten Kate, Team Manager:
"This was a very hectic and eventful race for the Supersport guys today. We were lucky that Kenan took an early lead and broke away from the battling group behind. Andrew was in the group battling for second and he was hanging in really well. When the three riders went down we were in a perfect position for first and second, which the riders delivered to us. I have to give big compliments again to Kenan who rode yet another mature race by keeping his head and not getting stressed. Andrew has given us the perfect gift to reward the team for the ride - he has just shown his capabilities as a rider. The result is just perfect, I couldn't have asked for more."
"I'm really happy. The dry conditions definitely helped me to get to the podium. For me it is important to stay in a good position for the whole race. When the three riders went down, I knew that I had at least a three second lead didn't have to push to hard. I tried to maintain the same gap without going too fast as when there is no-one to threaten you there is no need. I could see on my board that the gap was staying the same so I knew there was no-one closing in to make me push harder. Anyway, I am really happy about the win. I want to thank my team for working so hard. They always give me the best and I like to give my best back."
"I'm really happy that I have been able to do the job for the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda team and help them out when they needed it. It was a bit of a lottery going into the race in the dry when we had done so many laps in the wet. We used a softer front tyre, which gave me a couple of problems towards the end but I tried hard to bring it home and get on the podium. I want to thank Ronald and Gerrit for giving me the opportunity. The guys have been great all weekend and coming into a team that has won the World Supersport Championship for the last five years makes my job a lot easier. It's just amazing, they are so easy to work with. I'm happy - very happy!"