Kenan Sofuoglu has chosen to avoid explaining his conduct during a controversial World Supersport Championship race at Motorland Aragon, after a penalty for aggressive on-track behaviour cost him a potential victory.
The Turk was embroiled in a seemingly innocuous tussle for second with Fabien Foret when on lap 13 he appeared to intentionally jerk his DeltaFin Kawasaki and his head into the path of the Frenchman as they sped down the back straight.
Though there was no obvious trigger for Sofuoglu's bizarre conduct, he was quickly penalised by race direction, who declared he must 'drop three positions' on track.
However, Sofuoglu opted to continue in the knowledge that the remaining four laps meant he could race to the finish line without incurring further wrath for ignoring the penalty. Going on to catch and pass leader Sam Lowes, Sofuoglu was first across the finish line, where he proceeded to celebrate his 'win' on the warm-down lap and even pull into the winners' enclosure.
Nonetheless, the penalty was still imposed post-race, with Sofuoglu classified in fifth position, while Lowes, Foret and Sheridan Morais inherited the top three positions.
Reflecting on the race in Kawasaki's official press release, Sofuoglu says he felt he was the true winner of the race, but offered no explanation as to why he reacted towards Foret so aggressively.
“I lost a lot of points today. I had many problems with my knee and I was not sure if I could even ride today, but even in this condition I feel I won the race. We made a lot of tape on my knee and I cannot move it fully so especially in the chicanes it was very difficult.
"I was very careful and we changed some things on the bike and I was able to ride my bike. We were very strong today in any case and still leave here with a good lead in the championship.”
Foret was similarly cagey about the incident, even suggesting in the post-race press conference that Sofuoglu may have just been caught off guard by the wind.
“It was a tough race and I just did my best,” he said. “I am happy with this podium place especially after losing a lot of points in Misano. We did a good job and I will try to go better next time.”