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Sofuoglu cracks Cluzel for Misano win
10 June 2012 CLICK HERE
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Kenan Sofuoglu has multiplied his lead in the World Supersport Championship standings after staying composed whilst under race-long pressure from Jules Cluzel at Misano.
The DeltaFin Kawasaki rider started third but would quickly move to the front through the opening turns to establish a lead he wouldn't cede at any stage over the lengthy 22 lap race.
Not that Sofuoglu enjoyed an uncontested run to victory, the Turk forced to produce a faultless performance by Cluzel, who shadowed him from start-to-finish. However, while the Frenchman maintained close company to never slip more than half a second behind his rival, he was never quite close enough to plant a move on the two-time champion.
As such, Sofuoglu was able to hold on to become the first double race winner this season, in turn extending his advantage in the standings to 22 points – now over Cluzel – after both Sam Lowes and Fabien Foret endured dismal races.
Donington Park race winner Lowes had looked a strong contender for victory from pole position, but a lacklustre opening few laps saw him lose touch with the leaders. Even so, he was still running a quiet third when he crashed on lap 12, dropping him to what would eventually be a wholly unsatisfying 18th at the chequered flag.
Foret, meanwhile, diced with Sofuoglu and Cluzel during the early laps, but his hopes of victory were scuppered by penalty from race direction that declared he must 'drop 2 positions' from the third he held at that time. The decision was based on the apparent advantage he gained at the opening turn when he ran on and re-joined the circuit within the lead pack. A similar error would befall front row starter Broc Parkes, though he chose not to cut across and would thus drop back to 13th.
As such, Foret was ordered to take a penalty, though the Frenchman seemed confused by the message and would delay conceding the positions – which were some six seconds behind at that stage - until lap 11. However, it came too late for race direction, who duly handed down an additional ride-through penalty to a visibly furious Foret.
With Lowes, Foret and Parkes out of the equation, it was Alex Baldolini who instead emerged with in a fine third place finish aboard the privateer Suriano Triumph, marking the first time the Daytona 675 has achieved a WSS podium since the end of the 2010 season.
His countryman Roberto Tamburini followed him home for fourth place aboard the Lorini Honda, ahead of a recovering Parkes, who got the better of Sheridan Morais on the final lap.
Jed Metcher notched up his and RivaMoto Yamaha's best-ever finish with a strong run to seventh, ahead of Foret, who hinted at what could have been by setting the fastest lap as he attempted to make up for lost ground.
Vittorio Iannuzzo completed a good day for Suriano in ninth, ahead of Bike Service Yamaha's new recruit Andrea Antonelli, who in turn got the better of his replacement at Lorini Honda, Raffaele de Rosa.
Toth Hungary Honda duo Balazs Nemeth and Imre Toth crossed the line in tandem in 12th and 13th, ahead of first-time WSS scorers Dino Lombardi and Gabor Talmacsi, the former 125GP world champion getting a well-deserved point on his debut despite getting innocently crossed up in Mathew Scholtz's accident mid-way through the race.
A race of high attrition, there was disappointment for Massimo Roccoli, who was up to fourth place when the engine on his Yakhnich Yamaha blew in spectacular style, while Ronan Quarmby eliminated both himself and Stefano Cruciani on lap seven.