With just two races remaining in the 2010 World Supersport championship, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu is concentrating his efforts on another race win at Imola in Italy this weekend (Sept. 24-26).
The Turkish ace, who leads the championship standings by a slender 12 points from fellow Honda rider Eugene Laverty, has finished on the podium in every round this season, with three wins, five seconds and three thirds from the 11 rounds to date.
However, Sofuoglu knows that he cannot allow his concentration to slip for a moment if he is to realise his dream of regaining the World Supersport title that he won with the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR in 2007.
His team-mate, Michele Pirro, will enjoy a third race of the season in his home country of Italy, and the 24-year-old will be aiming to add to his solitary World Supersport podium, achieved at the Portimao, Portugal round six months ago.
Pirro is still regaining the strength in the wrist that he broke in a crash at Brno, Czech Republic in June. However, his recovery to full fitness was given a thorough workout during last Sunday’s Moto2 race at Aragon in Spain, where he rode as a replacement rider for the Honda Gresini team and finished in 14th place.
Kenan Sofuoglu says: “I have been training hard in very hot weather at home to prepare fully for this race in Imola. It’s been a very good season so far and now we are getting towards the end, so we want to keep it going.”
“Imola is one of my favourite circuits and I was able to get a very fast lap time during our test there in July so I am really looking forward to the weekend. I really want to go for another win in Imola so that there is not so much pressure in the last race at Magny-Cours. However, we all know that it will be very tough and that we need a lot of luck in Imola to make it happen the way we want.”
Michele Pirro says: “My wrist has improved since the last race at Nurburgring but I took part in the Moto2 race at Aragon for the Gresini Honda team. I enjoyed it very much and was happy to qualify on the second row ahead of Tony Elias!”
“I was able to ride well in the race but my wrist became quite painful towards the end of the race so I couldn’t get the result I wanted. Our test at Imola in July was not so bad so I will be trying really hard to get a good result at the weekend. I’ve had some problems this year, but I really want to end the season in a very good way.”
Gerrit ten Kate (team owner) says: “The plan for the weekend is simple: we would like to see Kenan win again in Imola and hope that Michele is fit and strong enough to help him wherever he can in order to bring the championship back to the team. It’s good that Michele was on a bike last weekend in the Moto2 race at Aragon, b ut we know that Eugene Laverty will be a strong competitor again in Imola, so we will just have to see what happens.”