WSS: Pitt Second In Qatar Thriller
Sofuoglu “feeling tired” following previous days crashes
Andrew Pitt finished second in today’s second round 2009 World Supersport championship encounter in Qatar. The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider was edged off the top step of the podium by Honda-mounted Eugene Laverty. Cal Crutchlow completed the podium, with Pitt’s team-mate, Kenan Sofuoglu – winner of the opening race in Australia two weeks ago – finishing in fourth place.
In a classic Supersport slipstreaming battle around the 5.38km Losail circuit just outside Doha, Pitt and Sofuoglu traded places with Laverty and Crutchlow, with each of three Honda riders taking spells leading the race.
On the last lap, Pitt appeared to have timed his final move to the front perfectly, but Laverty, riding the 2009 Honda CBR600RR, was able to out-drag the Australian to the flag, while a mistake at the final corner prevented Sofuoglu from joining Pitt on the podium.
Andrew Pitt – P2
I gave everything I had during the race and, although I didn’t win, at least we’ve bagged another 20 points. We struggled early in the weekend but the team has worked really hard again to put a good bike underneath me. Congratulations to Eugene and the Parkalgar Honda team – they were knocking on the door last season and deserve to be there. Bring on Valencia, when we’ll have the 2009 CBR to play with and the straight is a little shorter!
Kenan Sofuoglu – P4
I’m not so happy, really. After my two crashes yesterday I was a little bit nervous and then I was losing some speed on the straight to everyone else. I had to try and make up for that by braking late into the corners and that made me a little tired and I began to feel the knocks I received yesterday. Then I made a mistake going into the final corner, when I was third, and this allowed Crutchlow through. Still, I have some more points and it’s not such a bad result considering the tough weekend we’ve had.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
It’s not been the easiest weekend, so I was pleased to see both riders fighting for the win right through the race. Although we would love to have won, the victory went to the 2009 CBR600RR and to another well-respected Honda team, so congratulations to them. At the end of the day, we’re still 1-2 in the championship and we’re looking forward to getting back to Europe where our own 09 bikes are waiting and we cannot wait for Valencia.
2009 World Supersport championship, round two – Losail, Qatar
Results (5.38km – 18 laps)
1 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Honda 37’06.285s
2 Andrew Pitt (AUS) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +0.063s
3 Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha +0.625s
4 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +0.711s
5 Robbin Harms (DEN) Honda +5.200s
6 Matthieu Lagrive (FRA) Honda +5.233s
Championship points after two of 14 rounds:
Pitt 40, Sofuoglu 38, Laverty 36, Crutchlow 29, Anthony West (AUS) Honda 23, Lagrive 15.
Next round: 5 April – Valencia, Spain