Former champion Kenan Sofuoglu has announced he will return to the World Supersport Championship in 2012 to spearhead Kawasaki's revised title challenge.
The Turk, who won the WSS title in 2007 and 2010 for Ten Kate Honda, raced in the Moto2 World Championship in 2011 with Technomag CIP, but despite a run to second place at Assen, his form was patchy on the way to 17th overall.
As such, Sofuoglu will return to familiar territory in 2012, though this will be the first time he has raced in the series with an alternative team since he made his debut with Ten Kate Honda in 2006.
Instead, he will ride a Kawasaki ZX-6R under the Lorenzini by Leoni banner, which in turn will assume 'official' duties for Kawasaki having been promoted to become its factory-backed team at WSS level.
“I'm very happy for the opportunity Kawasaki has given me, which arrived at a particularly difficult time in my career. Experience in Moto2 was important, but for me it is essential to fight for the title and I'm sure this will be possible thanks to the Team Lorenzini. I'll be back in the World Supersport Championship happy and convinced that I will get the support I need for my future.”
Sofuoglu is statistically the most successful WSS rider of all-time, winning 17 of the 56 races he has started, while he is one of only three riders to have won more than one world title.
Lorenzini Kawasaki will begin its testing schedule at Motorland Aragon and Valencia with Sofuoglu being joined on the bike by South African Sheridan Morais.