Simon Buckmaster has spoken out against the penalty handed down to Kenan Sofuoglu during the seventh round of the 2012 World Supersport Championship at Motorland Aragon, claiming 'the punishment did not fit the crime'.
Sofuoglu received a three-position drop during the Spanish event after he was judged to have ridden aggressively against Fabien Foret during the race, though the Turk caused further controversy when he didn't take the penalty and proceeded to cross the line in first position.
Though race direction would later demote him to fifth post-race, PTR manager Buckmaster feels Sofuoglu's actions, particularly his attitude of riding to 'victory' and proceeding to pull into the winners' enclosure, proved the penalty he received 'does not send out the right signals'.
“We all saw the Kenan Sofuoglu incident last weekend at Aragon that was clearly no accident as he simply looked across and rode into Fabien Foret.
“The race direction then put the incident under investigation and imposed a drop three places penalty. Now the rules say a rider has five-laps to take a penalty and with only four-laps left by the time the penalty was imposed Kenan simply did not have to take it. Strictly speaking under the rules he completed the race before his last opportunity to drop back. He was lucky here as he clearly had no intention of doing so, a point shown by him trying to go into the winner enclosure at the end of the race.
“He even had the cheek to say he thought he was the fair winner of the race! Remember, he ignored a penalty for jumping the chicanes at Imola and got black-flagged. The punishment does not fit the crime.
“In my opinion the penalty was simply nowhere near harsh enough for such an outright dangerous move. It is not the first time with Kenan either. Off the top of my head when he came back to Supersport the first time he kicked out at Josh Hayes at Portimao (Josh was then riding for us) for having the cheek to overtake him.
“He also rode into Eugene Laverty at Salt Lake City on the final lap to get the win. Both these incidents went without penalty. He continued in his ways in Moto 2 at Barcelona when he clashed with Julian Simon causing injury to him.
“Now I know some Kenan fans may say Eugene crashed and took him out at Imola at the end of 2012 on the last lap, this is true but Eugene was going for a fair overtake not just riding into competitors with no regard for their safety.