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The battle-lines for the World Supersport Championship have been drawn after Kenan Sofuoglu secured an important win over title rival Sam Lowes at Silverstone, albeit after a controversial last lap clash between the fierce rivals resulted in the series leader taking a tumble.
A dramatic conclusion to a race that built in momentum over the course of the 16 laps, Sofuoglu and Lowes shared the lead continuously as they sprinted away from the opposition, but would enter the final revolution with the Turk leading the local favourite.
That said, with the Kawasaki proving noticeably stronger in a straight line and the Yamaha making up ground in the corners, the race was always expected to come down whether Lowes could stick with Sofuoglu enough to mount a challenge through the tight Arena complex.
And so it proved, Lowes manoeuvring the R6 through initially into the right hander, only to run a little wide through the subsequent tight left-hander. With Sofuoglu sensing an opportunity, the Kawasaki squeezed into the gap just as Lowes closed the door, the pair coming to a blow that would send the latter sliding off the circuit.
With Sofuoglu staying upright, he would continue on to secure a second consecutive victory – his third of the year -, while Lowes took advantage of the huge gap to the chasing pack to get going again without losing second position.
Despite the contentious end to proceedings, both Lowes and Sofuoglu shrugged the clash off as a racing incident, though it means the margin between the two is down to 29 points with five races remaining.
Too far behind to make the most of Lowes's tumble, the fight for third would nonetheless come down to an entertaining battle between Kawasaki and MV Agusta.
Initially held by Puccetti Kawasaki rider Riccardo Russo, his exit on lap ten would clear the way for Kev Coghlan and Fabien Foret to dispute the final spot on the podium, with Roberto Rolfo and Christian Iddon also in contention.
In the end, the more experienced Foret would get the edge on Coghlan to deny the DMC Lorenzini rider his first WSS podium on home soil, the Scot nonetheless coming away with his best-ever international result in fourth.
Just behind, countryman Iddon would also celebrate his best-ever WSS finish, the British rider capitalising on his front row start to come home fifth, holding off charging team-mate Rolfo aboard the second of the ParkinGO-prepared F3s.
A second further back, Jack Kennedy crossed the line in seventh, holding off Florian Marino, who was forced to recover from being rear-ended by Michael van der Mark on lap six, the Dutchman mis-judging his braking to make contact and run off circuit.
Despite this, the Dutchman would fight back from 23rd to cross the line ninth, with Vladimir Leonov completing the top ten. Of the remaining points-scorers, Lorenzo Zanetti was 11th, ahead of Roberto Tamburini, Luca Scassa, Alex Baldolini and David Salom.