Retired five-time WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu believes the new MV Agusta F3 800 can be a winning package in 2022 after replacing protégé Bahattin Sofuoglu in Jerez. 

Sofuoglu, who won three of his Supersport titles with Kawasaki and two with Honda, stepped-in for the MV Agusta Reparto Corse team after their new signing Bahattin tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before the two-day Jerez test. 

It was Sofuoglu’s first time ever riding an MV Agusta machine, and although ‘it’s a hard bike to ride’ according to the former 12-year Supersport rider, it’s a package he believes can win races. 

In fact, Sofuoglu claimed it’s one of the better packages on the grid, and one that gives Bahattin a great chance of moving to WorldSBK should he perform well, that’s despite MV Agusta not having a team in the premier class.  

Sofuoglu, who spent 1.5 days testing for MV Agusta before switching to Puccetti Kawasaki for Thursday’s afternoon running, told the official World Superbike website: "It was a busy day honestly, but in the end I enjoyed it a lot. I have to say thanks to MV Agusta and also to Puccetti. 

"With the MV we had a big improvement today. Actually we were three seconds faster today and I did quite competitive times. I’m very happy and the team is very happy. 

"It’s a hard bike to ride, but if you understand it, then it has the potential to be a winning bike. I’m very happy for Bahattin [Sofuoglu]. 

"Bahattin will be on the bike this season and for him it’s hard to ride, but if he’s doing good then for sure moving to Superbike; it’s one of the best choices we made for Bahattin. I’m very happy for him."

In regards to who was fastest of the six WorldSSP riders in attendance, that went the way of fellow MV Agusta rider Niki Tuuli, who also topped day-one.

While the 2021 season was a solid one for the Finnish rider - claimed three podiums all of which came during the final eight races - 2022 could see him challenging for wins on a more regular basis given the new 800cc engine ‘fits my riding style’. 

Tuuli added: "I think we had a really good test. MV brought a new engine, the 800 and it had some improvements. The first day was just about learning the new engine and the new riding style. 

"In the end, on the second day we tried to improve some things that we were missing last season. I think we did a really good job. I’m so happy that the new engine fits my riding style."