WSS: Sofuoglu Reaches World Supersport Pinnacle
Sofuoglu is the most successful World Supersport rider ever
Kenan Sofuoglu today became the most successful rider in World Supersport championship history by taking his 14th victory – his third of the 2009 campaign – at round 12 of the series at Imola in Italy.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider and 2007 world champion had been tied on 13 wins with double Ten Kate Honda champion, Sébastien Charpentier, but his victory today sets the Turkish rider clear as the outright number one.
Starting today’s 19-lap race from second on the grid, Sofuoglu started well and led before the red flags came out following Joan Lascorz’s engine failure on lap 11, which left oil on the 4.93km Imola circuit.
In the second part, Sofuoglu also got away well but had just been passed by current championship leader, Cal Crutchlow, when the British rider crashed out. It left Sofuoglu with a relatively straightforward run to the chequered flag while fellow Honda rider Eugene Laverty took second, narrowing Crutchlow’s lead to just two points with two races remaining.
Sofuoglu’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Andrew Pitt, had been struggling for pace in the first part of the race but the red flag allowed his team to make a modification to the front end of his Honda CBR600RR. The resulting improvement gave the Australian the confidence to push in the second half of the race, which he finished in fourth place on the road, but sixth on aggregate times.
Kenan Sofuoglu – 1st
It’s really nice to have 14 wins but it’s been a really hard season with a lot of problems. But we’ve improved the bike a lot over the last two races, especially this weekend – our tuners have worked very hard for this race and our bike is fast again! Now, every time I go on the track, I think I can win the race. I was strong this weekend and, although Cal’s crash helped me to win today, I will try to win the last two races as well and try to keep third in the championship. I’d like to thank the team again – it’s nice to be able to win again.
Andrew Pitt – 6th
The second part of that race felt really good – like the bike and me are finally back again. We made a big call during the break for the red flags and put a bit more weight on the front of the bike. It transformed it and my lap times just kept getting better. I was held up a bit by Fabien Foret but it felt fantastic to be running near the front again. Now I can’t wait for the next two races to get up there again.
Ronald ten Kate – team manager
After our mid-season blues, this win is really well-deserved for everyone who has worked so hard to renew the development of the Honda CBR600RR. I know it’s usual to thank everyone involved but I have seen the effort from right up close and I know how hard everyone has worked. I would therefore like to thank the tuning guys, both here and at the workshop – especially Fritz Jaspers – the Andreani Group for their work on the suspension, and every individual in the whole Supersport team for standing up once again. Of course, we are all delighted for Kenan and his win today, but I am almost as delighted with Andrew’s riding in the second part of the race. Now we cannot wait to go to Magny-Cours!
2009 World Supersport championship, round 12 – Imola, Italy (4.93km, 19 laps) results:
1 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 35’51.342s
2 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Honda +5.372s
3 Fabien Foret (FRA) Yamaha +6.450
4 Chas Davies (GBR) Triumph +15.847
5 Garry McCoy (AUS) Triumph +15.944
6 Andrew Pitt (AUS) Hannspree ten Kate Honda +16.001
Championship points after 12 of 14 rounds: Crutchlow 210, Laverty 208, Sofuoglu 153, Joan Lascorz (ESP) Kawasaki 138, Foret 115, Pitt 104.
Next round: Magny-Cours, France – 2-4 October