WSBK: Sofuoglu Crashes Out At The Nurburgring
Kenan Sofuoglu tries to continue but forced to quit with no footrest
Kenan Sofuoglu crashed out of a comfortable second place in today’s 11th-round World Supersport championship race at Nurburgring in Germany – a race won by series leader Cal Crutchlow. Sofuoglu’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Andrew Pitt, was seventh.
Starting from second place on the grid, Sofuoglu challenged Crutchlow on the opening laps, breaking the lap record on lap two. However, as drizzle began to fall on the 5.13km Nurburgring circuit, the Turkish rider slid off at the tight first corner.
He lost his right footpeg in the crash but was able to remount in eighteenth place and move up to 10th place before a small bolt that he was resting his right foot on worked itself loose, leaving a bitterly disappointed Sofuoglu unable to continue.
Pitt, meanwhile, got a good start from his 10th place on the grid but was affected by the rain in the early stages, when his lap times dropped. The Australian rallied in the second part of the race, however, and climbed as high as sixth before dropping back to seventh at the flag.
Andrew Pitt – 7th
I was basically just too cautious when it was wet and lost too much time. I saw a couple of other riders go down and just took it steady for a couple of laps but came back strong at the end, when my lap times were better and I was able to get into a rhythm. We still need to do some work on improving the way the bike turns – I’m just having to wait too long to get on the gas. But we’re going in the right direction and making small steps forward. We’ll have a good base to start with at Imola and know what we have to do.
Kenan Sofuoglu – DNF
I am so disappointed because I was in a good position when I crashed. I felt I had to push to stay with Crutchlow, but I just pushed too hard. I lost the footpeg but the rest of the bike was OK and I was able to do some good lap times before the bolt fell off and I had no alternative but to pull in. I’m sorry for the team who worked so hard to give me a good bike this weekend and I will try to make up for it at Imola.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
It’s a shame of course, but second position seemed secured until Kenan’s little off. The positive is that we had made a big step forward this weekend and in our small tests during the break. Andrew’s first half was slow, but in the second part of his race he seemed to be quick enough for maybe fourth place. However, we are moving in the right direction and look forward to continuing at Imola.
2009 World Supersport championship, round 11 – Nurburging, Germany (5.13km, 19 laps) results:
1 Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 37’56.481s
2 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Honda +10.109s
3 Joan Lascorz (ESP) Kawasaki +10.250
4 Massimo Roccoli (ITA) Honda +31.980
5 Fabien Foret (FRA) Yamaha +34.575
6 Mark Aitchison (AUS) Honda +34.724
7 Andrew Pitt (AUS) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +36.632
Championship points after 11 of 14 rounds: Crutchlow 210, Laverty 188, Lascorz 138, Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 128, Foret 99, Anthony West 96, Pitt 94
Next round: Imola, Italy – 25-27 September