WSS: Kenan Sofuoglu - Q&A

I also started racing late when I was 17 or 18 years old when many club racers start at 5 or 6 and here I am at a high level in world racing. I think that God must have had a hand in that story.
How famous are you in Turkey, are you recognised?

Kenan Sofuoglu:
In Turkey yes, I've done many television commercials and on the Gillette adverts here, where they use Roger Federer and Tiger Woods in England, they also use me in Turkey. I've also been used in some government campaigns.

The president of Turkey will sometimes mention me as a great example of a Turkish man, has invited me many times and if I crash he often calls me to ask if I'm OK. I remember when I crashed in Moto2 he called and asked the Sports minister to make sure I had everything I needed and I was just saying 'No, everything's OK, I'm fine'

My results are always in the news and if I go to a restaurant, everybody knows me.

I wouldn't say I enjoy fame though because I just like a quiet life. Normally for my job I would need to move to Istanbul because of my travel needs but I have moved to a small town because I like it quiet and am happy with my life.
Lastly Kenan I have to ask you about the 2012 Aragon 'headbutting' incident, what happened there?

Kenan Sofuoglu:
This has been taken wrongly so many times.

In Aragon I had a serious problem with my knee, it was heavily swollen and we didn't know if I would be able to race or not. The knee was heavily strapped and I was being careful in the race.

First I got in the lead and then Sam took over and I decided to stay behind Sam until the end of the race. Fabien at the time was my mate and it was our job to win for Kawasaki and not from each other and Fabien was just holding for second and letting the win go to Sam. He was braking so late into corners and holding me behind and I feared that riding like that would put my knee out again.

When I passed him on my right hand side I wanted to tell him 'Go and stay with Sam or if you can't, don't try to stop me'. It felt like a fellow Kawasaki rider was blocking me. Because I was passing him on my right side, I couldn't use my hand because it was holding the throttle open so I had to make a 'Don't try to block me' gesture with my head.

We were going at such a speed that when I moved my head out into the slipstream the wind caught my head and made it look like I was trying to hit him with my head, but that's not possible to do.

After the race I was talking with Fabien and he had no problems about it. Things often look very different on television than they do from inside the helmet.
So why didn't you take your demotion penalty during the race?

Kenan Sofuoglu:
I think that was my team's mistake, from my pitboard I couldn't understand what I had to do. The pitboard said '+3' and 'position 5' and I had no idea what that meant, I asked them afterwards why they didn't just show 'Drop position', but that's in the past now.
Thank you very much Kenan and good luck.

Kenan Sofuoglu:
That's OK.

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:]
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Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
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[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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