Kenan Sofuoglu says his 2010 World Supersport title win feels more rewarding than that of his maiden triumph in 2007 following an epic season-long duel with Eugene Laverty.
The Turk made history by winning eight races on the way to a dominant first title in 2007, but he would go about his 2010 victory in a different way as he won just three races, though finished each race on the podium.
Indeed, while Laverty equalled his own record by winning on eight occasions this season, Sofuoglu's unbroken consistency was enough to keep the Irishman at bay by an eventual 11 points.
Hailing his rivalry with Laverty and Joan Lascorz, who was in title contention ahead of his season curtailing accident at Silverstone, Sofuoglu was delighted to win again before he embarks on a new championship, heavily rumoured to be Moto2.
“It was not a difficult race, but when you're thinking that in 20 minutes you will be world champion, it's definitely not easy,” said Sofuoglu, who finished second at Magny-Cours. “The last six laps were very long for me – I was riding very slowly and I was still very afraid of making a mistake. In the end we won the championship, but this year it has been very strong with Eugene and Joan Lascorz.
“I was world champion in 2007 but this has been a much more difficult fight and I enjoyed it much more because of that. I want to thank Eugene and Joan very much for the competition, because I think racing each other has made us all even faster.
“Next year I will be in a different championship so I want to say a really big thanks t o the Ten Kate team because we have been on the podium in every race this year.
“We've never had a technical problem and I tried to stay on the bike all the time, although sometimes I have had to close the throttle and settle for a podium. I am so very happy today, so thanks to everybody who has helped to make this possible.”