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Kenan Sofuoglu has wrestled the World Supersport championship lead from Kawasaki Puccetti team-mate Randy Krummenacher with victory at Imola after the Swiss was disqualified from the restarted race.

The Turkish rider blasted to the front in the opening stages of the restarted race and looked comfortable for his fourth victory around the Italian track but was handed the opportunity after a dramatic abandoned first race.

Krummenacher's bike started smoking while running in third, making those chasing him very cautious, and despite being given the black and orange flag he failed to pull off the track in sufficient time.

With race direction fearing oil had been spilled from Krummenacher's Kawasaki the race was red flagged.

The Swiss rider, who rode the smoking bike into the pits, was duly disqualified from the race restart and also had an appeal rejected as he was deemed the cause of the stoppage.

At the race restart Sofuoglu battled past pole sitter Jules Cluzel and maintained a comfortable margin on the chasing pack for his 34th WSS career win and with it claimed the championship points lead from his disqualified team-mate.

Despite a mid-race dip Cluzel got home in second ahead of PJ Jacobsen and a feisty fight between Italians at their home event. Alex Baldolini won that battle to take fourth ahead of Alessandro Zaccone with French rider Lorenzo Zanetti in seventh.

Ondrej Jezek claimed seventh as Federico Caricasulo, Aytron Badovini and Nicolas Terol completed the top ten.

At the initial lights out Cluzel held the holeshot with Sofuoglu in close company and the Turkish rider lined up a first-lap pass at the final chicane. The pair traded passes over the opening stages until the race was red flagged with Krummenacher's Kawasaki Puccetti machine smoking.

The Swiss rider, who appeared not to realise his bike was smoking, returned to the pits but was informed by Dorna technical delegate Scott Smart he was disqualified from restarting after ignoring the black flags.

Just before the red flag Christian Gamarino crashed out with his Kawasaki bike tumbling back on to the track but the timely stoppage enabled marshals to recover the stricken bike safely.

Despite Krummenacher's squad appealing to race direction to overturn the disqualification, on the basis the bike wasn't leaking oil, the appeal was in vain and the championship leader was banned from the restart.

At the second start Sofuoglu got strong drive off the line but Cluzel held station by blocking him at turn one. The reigning World Supersport champion kept the pressure and at Acqua Minerale made the move stick by darting ahead with a quick string of laps. Jacobsen duly followed the Turkish rider through down the home straight past Cluzel.

Further back Gino Rea became a casualty in a midpack scrap after being bashed out at the final chicane while out front after the madness of the opening laps Sofuoglu found his rhythm demonstrated in free practice and pulled away from Jacobsen.

At the halfway point Cluzel appeared to rediscover his pace and duly reeled in and passed Jacobsen for second place and began a late pursuit of Sofuoglu, but the Turkish rider duly managed the gap to claim victory and the championship lead.



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