Three-time World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu arrived in Imola under horrible circumstances. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing ZX-6R pilot’s seven-week-old son Hamza suffered from a sudden illness, and was fighting to survive.Ahead of round five of 2015 World Supersport at Imola, Sofuoglu said “when I saw my son was fighting so hard to survive, I though I should not give up my job.”
And he did not give up; he just missed qualifying on pole by a mere 0.037 of a second, but followed this up with a win after yet another intense battle with rival and pole-sitter Jules Cluzel on the MV Agusta Reparto Corse F3.Sofuoglu battled for much of the 17-lap race, and the Turkish rider’s victory was decided on the final lap. After Cluzel made a small mistake, the Turkish rider Sofuoglu beat him to the checkered flag by 0.883 of a second.This was Sofuoglu’s 30th WSS victory, and his third straight of 2015 WSS.“(Sunday) the race was not easy. I was not prepared in my conditioning and last week I did not sleep well. On the other side of the story I was strong because I know how difficult it was to come here,” Sofuoglu says.“For that reason, inside me, I came here for a win. I think this race was very hard because Cluzel was strong, more than I expected, but I told myself if I was here I was here to win. I was not going to accept second, not today. There will be days when I have to but not today. I am happy to have taken 25 points and now I go straight back to Turkey.”Taking the final podium position was Cluzel’s teammate Lorenzo Zannetti, who overhauled America’s PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) and Marco Faccanni (San Carlo Puccetti Racing). Jacobsen would finish fourth, and Faccanni fifth.CORE Motorsport Thailand’s Ratthapark Wilairot beat CIA Landlords Insurance Honda’s Gino Rea to the line to take sixth, the two locked together for the race duration. Rounding out the top 10 were Riccardo Russo (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), Russo’s teammate Martin Cardenas and Roberto Rolfo (Lorini Honda).Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) crashed out of contention on lap 3, he was able to re-join to claim the final point in 15th.Sofuoglu retains the World Supersport championship lead with 105 points, 53 ahead of Jacobsen. In third, 56 behind, is Cluzel.The 2015 World Superbike Championship now breaks for a week before heading to Donington Park in the UK for round six of 13.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!