WSS: Kenan Sofuoglu - Q&A

I think it was a little political. When I went to Moto2 at the end of 2010, I think that Dorna really wanted me there because there was a chance of a race in Turkey for the 2011 season and that would have been great for the series. I went with the Technomag team who had a strong bike and unfortunately had an opening because of the tragic death of Shoya Tomizawa.

They were using a Suter chassis and offered me a number of chassis to test before the 2011 season to decide which one I wanted. Unfortunately I lost my father just at the time of the testing and couldn't attend so when I arrived at Qatar the chassis had been decided and I couldn't get a good feeling on it.

That season they seemed to only update the chassis according to how Marc Marquez liked it and other Suter users had to run with that. The frame was very stiff and I need a more flexible frame.

The team also seemed to forget what I had done in the last two races and didn't really seem to work with me to get a chassis I felt comfortable with. The testing we did was with a cheaper endurance tyre rather than a race tyre which meant that we couldn't get any useful data.

The team seemed to have budget problems and were always asking me to arrange testing details which they should have done, Ten Kate would never have done that as a world class team. I felt I had moved back to cup racing. My expectations are always to run at the front so my motivation went down and I felt slightly broken.

In the dry, I was down in 20th position on a bike with a similar engine to the rest and was often 20 kph down on speed and could only run further up in the wet. I don't like the wet but it was the only conditions where I could race and where the rider rather than the bike can make the difference. Honestly, I don't know why there was such a great difference between my 2010 and 2011 speed.

In the end I felt that I needed to enjoy my racing again or stop. Many people for example ask me why I'm not in WSBK this season and I say you have to enjoy your racing and feel as if you are a good combination with your bike, at the moment I feel like that with the Kawasaki and I don't know if I would feel that way in WSBK.

When I got the offer from Kawasaki in 2011, I asked them to wait because my season in Moto2 had made me question everything. I accepted though because in Moto2 there seemed to be nobody backing me politically or financially whereas in Supersport I feel as if Kawasaki are there and can help if there is a problem. The feeling that the factory is backing me is very important to me.
How is it going with the Mahi Kawasaki team?

Kenan Sofuoglu:
It's a great team, it's at an excellent level and I think is good enough to win the championship. I get on well with the team and the team principal Amit Sandill is one of the best I have worked with, he can get anything we need to win. He expects high performance but in return really respects the riders. Also It's factory supported and I am the main rider for Kawasaki.

As I said it is a great team but I can't say that we've been lucky up to now and I have to be very careful about throwing away points now that there are 2 riders in it and I haven't finished in two races.
How do you rate your competition in WSS?

Kenan Sofuoglu:

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sofuoglu,WSS, European WSB 2013
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kazuki Watanabe, Team Go Eleven Kawasaki, [Credit:]
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kieran Clarke will return to the World Supersport Championship in 2015 with PTR in the CIA Insurance Honda team
Kyle Smith - PATA Honda
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark celebrates podium finish at Phillip Island
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark during testing at Phillip Island
New PTR Honda signing Matt Davies
Austria`s David Linortner has joined PTR Honda for 2013 World Supersport Championship
Fabien Foret, Ten Kate Honda
[L-R]: Chaz Davies, Luca Scassa and Gino Rea, Donington Park WSS podium, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Sam Lowes, Parkalgar Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
David Salom, Kawasaki, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Gino Rea, Step Racing Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]

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a - Unregistered

May 30, 2013 1:12 PM

Good detailed interview, very much enjoyed that- thanks. Love him or hate him (personally, much as I want to see Sam take that title I like Kenan too) it's always worth listening to what he has to say.

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