WSS » 14 August 2013
Kenan Sofuoglu talks Lowes clash, broken ribs, 2014
"I'm absolutely sure [Sam] could hear my engine but he just didn't want to stand his bike up" - Kenan Sofuoglu
By Christian Tiburtius
An exclusive interview with reigning triple World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu, in which the Mahi Kawasaki star gives his side of the controversial last-lap Silverstone clash with title rival Sam Lowes, reveals he recently broke three ribs in a holiday accident and provides an update on his 2014 plans...
Hello Kenan, what was your perspective about that pass?
I really want to speak about this. In the last lap, in the corner before it happened, I braked really late in the hairpin just before we touched each other and Sam had no chance to pass me there but he just released his brakes and he took me out to the white line. We missed the corner together. He entered the corner inside me but couldn't turn it and had my line so I couldn't lean properly because Sam was there.
It was the last lap, he had decided to pass and that was quite normal, I wouldn't complain about that. We both missed the corner because of that manoeuvre, we then both missed the right hand corner and on the next left one neither of us had a decent line. You have to remember that we were fighting to win the race.
In the corner where it happened, it's true that I went in inside him and I'm absolutely sure he could hear my engine but he just didn't want to stand his bike up. I was obviously expecting him to stand his bike up because he knew I was there.
Then we touched and at that moment I didn't know that he had crashed, though I did know that he might have done. When I finished the race I came in and saw him come in really late. I was thinking at the time that he'd just run off track and it was only later that I was told that he'd crashed.
When you went into the corner where it happened, who was ahead, you or Sam?
The best way to explain it is that when he attacked me in the previous corner, I was braking so late that he had to miss the corner to get inside me and in doing that took me towards the outside of the corner too. I therefore couldn't enter the next corners properly because of that. That seemed normal to me, we wanted to win the race, it was the last lap and I wouldn't complain about that. As I said into the next left hand corner I just went in the way Sam had gone in previously and I'm sure he could hear me but still leant onto me. He needed to stand his bike up.
I'm sorry that he crashed but I'm really disappointed that he is saying that I did it on purpose. I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't know that he'd crashed; I just wanted to win the race. I said after the race that If I'd crashed in that corner and he'd won the race, I wouldn't have complained and said that Sam had crashed into me on purpose.
I have to remind you of Imola in 2010 when Eugene Laverty took me out of the race when the title was at stake. After the race I didn't say anything negative about how Eugene had attacked me. I was desperate to win, he was desperate to win and these things can happen.
I don't understand why Sam, speaking on television directly afterwards, said that he accepted it and said that these things can happen but then after two days is saying that I did it on purpose. I feel that it was a little two faced in that we congratulated each other after the race and it seemed OK.
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