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WSS: Sofuoglu: We may not see out season

Kenan Sofuoglu reveals ongoing financial concerns could force MAHI Racing out of action before the end of the 2014 WSS season.
For the full revealing interview with Kenan Sofuoglu CLICK HERE

Kenan Sofuoglu says MAHI Racing may be unable to see out the remainder of the World Supersport Championship season, but suggests he may personally complete the year with another team.

Sofuoglu, the most successful World Supersport rider of all-time with three titles and 27 race wins, came into the 2014 season as a comfortable favourite on the Kawasaki Europe-supported MAHI ZX-6R, but a myriad of technical issues have played their part in eliminating him from the title fight with three rounds still remaining.

Speaking exclusively to Crash.net, Sofuoglu says the problems have taken their toll on his motivation, while ongoing financial issues have impacted on parts supplies too.

“A lot of the time I'm using parts on the bike from last year and they can give out,” he told Crash.net. “I really can't blame my team for this though because they are dedicated and work hard as usual, they can't be blamed for not being able to afford new parts. I try to ride the bike as normal but I often know that there might be an old part on it and that can play on your mind.

“Another thing is that I lost my crew chief from last year as the team weren't able to make him a good enough offer and that again means that I've got a lack of continuity but as I said, it isn't the team that's the problem, it's the tight finances. We just haven't got the budget to prepare properly.“

With this in mind, Sofuoglu says there is a possibility MAHI won't return from the summer break at Jerez in three weeks' time and that a decision will be taken in the next few days.

“We don't know if our team will be able to finish the season or not as there are quite big financial problems. Sponsors have left the team and Kawaski Europe are currently helping us and that's how we are continuing to race. We've basically got a very low budget to continue racing, it's quite discouraging.”

Regardless, Sofuoglu is optimistic he will still be present in the final rounds, albeit on a Kawasaki Europe-supplied machine, while he has few doubts he will remain with the manufacturer in some capacity in 2015.

“I'm meeting MAHI on Monday and if the team can't confirm then I'll be meeting Kawasaki Europe and hopefully they can supply me with a bike to finish the season on. That's our plan B.

“If I continue with MAHI we've only got one older engine left and it'll be impossible to finish the season with it so at some stage I'll have to use a new engine and therefore start from last on the grid. If I go with another team I may not have that problem.

“I've got a very good relationship with Kawasaki and we've been talking throughout this very hard year. At the moment we don't necessarily know which team I'll be with but I feel sure it will be with Kawasaki.”

The Indian-financed MAHI Kawasaki team made its racing debut towards the latter half of 2012 as a privateer entry, before securing Kawasaki Europe support for 2013 and the services of multiple champion Sofuoglu.

After finishing second to Yakhnich Yamaha's Sam Lowes in 2013, MAHI slimmed to a single WSS bike for Sofuoglu in 2014 and stepped up to the World Superbike class with Fabien Foret on an EVO-specification machine. The Frenchman – who missed the last flyaway event at Laguna Seca – is ninth in class.

For the full revealing interview with Kenan Sofuoglu CLICK HERE



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sofuoglu, Portuguese WSS600 race 2014
Sofuoglu, Portuguese WSS600 2014
Sofuoglu, Portuguese WSS600 2014
Sofuoglu, Portuguese WSS600 2014
Sofuoglu, WSS600 Donington WSBK 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]

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Ben1

August 19, 2014 10:29 AM

Things change fast. Only last year this team wanted to run four bikes, now they don't have the money to run one. Just like Yaknich - really sad that the top teams get in this situation. Hope Sofuoglu will find the best solution.



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