Kenan Sofuoglu set the fourth fastest time in today’s first World Supersport qualifying session at Silverstone in the UK in preparation for Sunday’s tenth round encounter.
The current series leader’s time was just two tenths of a second slower than Honda CBR600RR – mounted provisional WSS pole man, Eugene Laverty.
Sofuoglu is eager to extend his 15-point series lead this weekend with Laverty one of his main championship rivals.
The other, Joan Lascorz, is also on the provisional front row with the third fastest time today, just a tenth behind second-placed Gino Rea, also on Honda machinery.
Sofuoglu’s Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate for this weekend, South African Ronan Quarmby, ended the day in 20th position after riding the Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR for the first time.
Like his fellow World Supersport riders, the 19-year-old also had to learn Silverstone’s recently adapted 5.902km layout, but is confident of further improvement in tomorrow’s free practice and final qualifying sessions.
Kenan Sofuoglu says: "The track is not easy, of course, and I already said before the weekend that it wasn’t my favorite. But all in all, we’ve just arrived, sat on the bike and went out so the speed is not so bad for now. Of course, we need to be better than fourth, but I know we can improve the set up and I can improve myself tomorrow. There are no big problems at the moment and we just have to find a small change to the set-up to make things better."
"Also, I’m still searching for the best line – I can’t say it’s really good at the moment. Once again, I’m fighting with the other two fast guys but I think tomorrow I’ll be ready to go faster and hopefully keep the bike on the front row for Sunday’s race."
Ronan Quarmby says: "I think the biggest problem today is the new track – it was a little slippery but there are so many different lines and different places to brake and get on the gas. I’ve been watching the MotoGP and Moto2 races here and did maybe five or six laps on the scooter but it’s still difficult."
"I’ve also got a new bike under me with traction control and other electronics that I’ve not used before – it’s just extraordinary! There’s so much more to use and benefit from and my ideal time was a full second faster, so tomorrow I know I’ll be in the high 10s or low 11s. I’ll get a good night’s rest and think about things and then see what happens tomorrow, which will hopefully be better than today!"
Ronald ten Kate (team manager) says: "It was not such a bad start to the weekend considering we are at this new track for the first time. Kenan made a good jump forward after this morning’s free practice session and is confident of more to come tomorrow. For Ronan, it’s a whole new experience, with a new bike AND a new circuit to learn. He has made methodical progress today and we can only ask for more of the same tomorrow, when I am sure he will be faster."