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WSS Phillip Island: Sofuoglu cruises to Supersport pole

Kenan Sofuoglu maintains his grip on the 2014 WSS opener at Phillip Island, ahead of van der Mark and Tamburini.
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Kenan Sofuoglu has taken a comfortable 18th career World Supersport Championship pole position at Phillip Island as he maintained his stranglehold on the 2014 season opener.

The MAHI India Kawasaki rider has not been headed in any dry timed session since pre-season testing got underway earlier this week, the three-time champion carrying his comprehensive form into the race weekend to claim pole position by three tenths of a second.

Never headed throughout the session, Sofuoglu's closest rival was once again Michael van der Mark, the PATA Honda rider firmly securing his spot on the front row as the only rider within half-a-second of the Turk.

They will be joined on the front row, however, by an unexpected quantity in Roberto Tamburini, the experienced Italian vaulting up the timesheets late on in the qualifying session aboard the new San Carlo-branded Puccetti Kawasaki to go third best.

His efforts were enough to bump down Kev Coghlan and PJ Jacobsen, though the pair remain well placed in fourth and fifth having been able to continue their sparkling practice form into what is now the only qualifying session for the Supersport riders on a race weekend.

Reigning champions Yakhnich Motorsport, meanwhile, endured a mixed qualifying session, with Vladimir Leonov leading its charge on the MV Agusta in a solid sixth place, but big-name signing Jules Cluzel suffering an accident early on that would leave him down in 14th position.

In the absence of its lead rider Jack Kennedy, who was forced to withdraw after fracturing his ankle in testing, PTR Honda remains well represented in the upper echelons of the grid, with last minute signing Raffaele de Rosa qualifying seventh, while Ratthapark Wilairot will join him on the third row aboard the sister Core-backed machine despite suffering his second accident of the day.

Another rider to come down during the session, Lorenzo Zanetti recovered to ninth place on the second of the PATA Hondas, with local favourite Bryan Staring completing the top ten on the Rivamoto Honda ahead of his Supersport debut.

Elsewhere, wild-card riders Billy McConnell and Graeme Gowland will get underway in 12th and 18th on their respective Smiths Triumphs, while British rider Fraser Rogers gets underway in 23rd.


Tagged as: Sofuoglu , Kawasaki , WSS

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sofuoglu, Australian WSBK test and race, 2014
Sofuoglu, Australian WSBK test and race, 2014
Sofuoglu, Australian WSBK test and race, 2014
The official 2011 WSS season review by Duke Video
[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 Motocard.com, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Gino Rea, Step Racing Honda, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Luca Scassa, ParkinGO Yamaha, Donington Park WSS, 2011 [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]
James Ellison, Bogdanka PTR Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Wendy Salisbury Photography]
Sam Lowes, Parkalgar Honda, WSS 2011, Donington Park [pic credit: Jack Bateson]
Grid, Donington WSS Race 2011
Parkes, Donington WSS Race 2011

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ProfessorX

February 22, 2014 6:06 PM

not gonna be easy, at least Kenan made it in to the 1'32". I hope he races at PI like he did back in 2012. Just bide his time and if hes got the pace blow past them with 3 laps to go. No sense in pushing the tires too hard until you need it, he clearly has the 1 lap pace, unless someone is sandbagging, which is more unlikely in WSS. A nice conservative race, with out too many risks until the end would do nicely.

Shrieker

February 22, 2014 11:18 AM

I was about to say i was surprised with Cluzel's performance but i read that he crashed before having a chance to put a good lap in. If Leonov can lap 6 tenths from pole, then that means Cluzel will most definitely have a genuine shot at the title.



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