Kawasaki’s Sofuoglu: Supersport Champ (Video)
2012 World Supersport
Following a second-place finish at Portimao World Supersport Sunday, Kawasaki Lorenzini’s Kenan Sofuoglu clinched the 2012 title one round earlier.
This is Sofuoglu’s third WSS title, the Ninja ZX-6R rider also winning the championship in 2007 and 2010. All together, he has amassed 48 podiums fro 68 races, with a record-total 21 race wins. Four of those wins and nine podiums arrived in 2012 World Supersport.
This makes Sofuoglu the most successful rider in World Supersport history, and he now joins Andrew Pitt as the only other rider to win a championship aboard a Kawasaki.
The 20-lap race at the Portuguese circuit of Portimao was a classic encounter, with up to five riders in the leading group at any one time, but with Sofuoglu just having to finish somewhere near the front he was happy to allow eventual race winner Jules Cluzel to keep the lead to the end.
Sofuoglu made a late push to ensure he would get in the podium on his own merit and not just as the new champion. After a tough but ultimately successful year he was most interested in sealing what is his third World Championship in this class without any last lap risk. Kenan was joined on the podium today by third place finisher Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing).
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki ZX-6R Supersport) says: “We knew that we did not have to come to Portugal to win the race to win the title. We had a few problems with set-up yesterday but we were in good shape today and I could take the lead. I made some mistakes and dropped back. I knew I only had to finish fourth but in the last couple of laps I thought I would try to take a podium so I finished second.
“Sometimes in the race I was thinking that I was already going to be World Champion, so I was asking myself why I had to take more risk, so I was careful, especially on the last lap not to attack Cluzel in the lead. It was great to win the title with Kawasaki but it has not been an easy year for us. I have had some problems with my knee injury but we won the title with one race to spare and I am very happy to have done it with Kawasaki. They gave me a good opportunity to win the title with them and finally I was able to give them the answer, so big thanks to them.
“I am very happy for them and Lorenzini. It is difficult to compare championships with each other but at one point this season I was very afraid because I had some bad luck but the last couple of races I knew could win the title without any mistakes in the final rounds. WIinning races brings me confidence. To win the title in the first year with Kawasaki makes me very happy.”
Attached above is a behind-the-scenes video of Sofuoglu.