Sofuoglu marks return with Phillip Island win

Kenan Sofuoglu takes victory on his return to World Supersport competition at Phillip Island, edging out Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes.
Two-time title winner Kenan Sofuoglu marked his return to the World Supersport Championship with a convincing victory for Kawasaki DeltaFin at Phillip Island.

The Turk, who won the title for Ten Kate Honda in 2007 and 2010, returns to WSS competition this year as a Kawasaki rider following an unfulfilling season at Moto2 level and duly showed his experience to bide his time and strike for the win with just four laps remaining.

With the race reduced to 15 laps in an effort to negate the effect of scorching track temperatures, the sprint began with Sam Lowes taking the lead from second on the grid, heading up PTR counterpart Jules Cluzel, Intermoto Step Kawasaki's Fabien Foret, Sofuoglu and pole sitter Broc Parkes.

It was Lowes, WSS debutant Cluzel and Foret that made the early running as they swapped positions continuously over the first ten laps, all three enjoying stints in the lead of the race.

However, their dispute would duly allow Sofuoglu to ease himself into the equation, the former champion showing his experience by passing Lowes, Foret and Cluzel within a lap of one another on lap ten/eleven.

Going from fourth to first, it would prove the decisive pass of the race, with eventual second place man Foret being hampered by the attentions of his countryman Cluzel.

Indeed, having been unable to break clear of Cluzel until the start of the final lap, Foret did an excellent job to get the gap down to Sofuoglu into the last few corners, but would ultimately run out of time to make an attempt at passing.

As such, Sofuoglu was left to complete his 18th WSS victory on his first appearance as a Kawasaki rider, while Foret made it a ZX-6R 1-2 just 0.078secs behind.

Having paced many of the pre-season tests and practice, pole sitter Parkes was disappointingly never a factor in the battle for victory, but made some amends by passing a feisty Cluzel for third on the final lap of the race.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2011
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2011
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2011
Roberto Rolfo, Lucas Mahias, Photo Finish, [Credit: Dorna]
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kenan Sofuoglu, World Supersport [Credit: Kenan Sofuoglu]
Kazuki Watanabe, Team Go Eleven Kawasaki, [Credit:]
Lukas Trautmann, Superstock 1000, Yamaha [Credit: WSBK - Toni Borner]
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kyle Smith on the Pata Honda at Phillip Island
Kieran Clarke will return to the World Supersport Championship in 2015 with PTR in the CIA Insurance Honda team
Kyle Smith - PATA Honda
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark celebrates podium finish at Phillip Island
Pata Honda`s Michael van der Mark during testing at Phillip Island
New PTR Honda signing Matt Davies
Austria`s David Linortner has joined PTR Honda for 2013 World Supersport Championship

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pcxmac - Unregistered

February 26, 2012 10:05 AM

Nah, there are more politics involved than I think you guys are willing to let on. Unless a competent and willing team or sponsor like Repsol are willing to back Kenan in GP racing he wont get a fair shake like he has in WSS. Its great to see Sofuoglu minding his potential and winning it big again. I would like to see him opposite Melandri, w/ equal support, on a factory RSV4 when Max retires, I think those two guys would be awesome together on that bike.

PatrickD - Unregistered

February 26, 2012 4:26 PM

Kenan has been successful I'm WSS because his style and abilities suit this format best, rather than any other reason. He's been in good teams because he's a good rider to put some money behind and his experience and clinical execution of this race shows that if he wants to stay in this class, he can do what ever he wants. I'd be happy with that! Team advantage is less in this class of racing than any other, so he's clearly well up to the job. Clever Motofin for signing him up!

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