Sofuoglu powers past Lowes for Phillip Island win

Reigning champion Kenan Sofuoglu denies Sam Lowes to win the opening round of the 2013 World Supersport Championship at Phillip Island.
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Kenan Sofuoglu has begun his quest for a fourth World Supersport Championship title in fine form by out-performing pre-race favourite Sam Lowes to win at Phillip Island.

The Turk had played second fiddle to Lowes for much of the Australian race weekend in free practice and qualifying, but showed his experience when it mattered by repeatedly utilising the straight-line speed of his Kawasaki to deny his younger rival.

An absorbing 15 lap race – reduced from 21 laps due to concerns over tyre longevity -, Sofuoglu and Lowes quickly declared their intentions as they forged their way to the front of the field, the pair chased by a feisty Michael van der Mark on the Pata Honda during the early stages.

From here, the pendulum of momentum would continuously swing between the two riders, with Lowes seemingly proving stronger through the bends on the Yakhnich Yamaha – particularly between turn one and the turn four hairpin -, but losing out significantly in a straight line.

As such, though Lowes would pass Sofuoglu five times into the hairpin, on each occasion he would be comfortably re-passed by the Kawasaki at the end of the home straight.

Nosing ahead definitively on lap twelve, a series of fast laps would successfully break the tow to Lowes as they entered the final lap, the Turk completing his 22nd career WSS win in style and the first success for the Indian-financed Mahi Racing team.

Behind a visibly disappointed Lowes, reigning European Superstock 600 champion van der Mark announced his arrival on the Supersport scene with an excellent ride to third, the Dutchman briefly holding the lap record as he launched an impressive challenge to his more experienced rivals.

Further back, an entertaining battle for fourth would be decided in favour of Fabien Foret on the second of the Mahi Kawasakis, though the Frenchman will be frustrated to miss out on a better result after dropping from third to 20th initially thanks to a poor start.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sofuoglu, Australian WSBK 2013
Sofuoglu`s Kawasaki, Supersport, Australia WSBK 2013
Sofuoglu`s Kawasaki, Supersport, Australia WSBK 2013
Sofuoglu, Supersport, Australian WSBK 2012
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:]
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
Yakhnich Motorsport World Supersport rider Vladimir Leonov
Alex Baldolini will ride for the Power Team by Suriano in the 2012 World Supersport Championship

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prof-x - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 3:43 PM

he almost won races on Moto2 and nobody has amounted to much of anything on the Honda in SBK less the pilots who have been there for a long time. Sofuoglu is the real deal, and if he gets a chance at a good bike in SBK he can make it happen, but its all about money, sponsorship and which way the control tire wind is blowing. People who knock Sofuoglu for being a poor SBK or GP rider are ignorant and have no idea what they are talking about.

ersin - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 9:51 AM

as usual kenan is the strongest candidate for the tittle. May he was not good on sbk or moto 2 but everyone has to respect that he is the best on supersport

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