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Jun 8, 2014

FIM Supersport World Championship Race Results From Sepang (Updated)

The Sepang Circuit.

FIM Supersport World Championship

Sepang Circuit, Malaysia

June 8, 2014

Race Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Michael VD MARK, Netherland (Honda CBR600RR), 14 laps, 30:23.854

2. Jules CLUZEL, France (MV Agusta F3 675), -0.018 second

3. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -4.526 seconds

4. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -4.651

5. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), -9.187

6. Rathapark WILAIROT, Thailand (Honda CBR600RR), -12.494

7. Raffaele DE ROSA, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), -13.515

8. PJ JACOBSEN, USA (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -20.400

9. Zaqhwan ZAIDI, Malaysia (Honda CBR600RR), -20.579

10. Marco BUSSOLOTTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), -29.038

World Championship Point Standings (after 6 of 12 races):

1. VD Mark, 115 points

2. Cluzel, 82

3. Florian Marino, 76

4. TIE, Zanetti/Kev Coghlan, 60

6. TIE, Sofuoglu/De Rosa, 54

8. Rolfo, 49

9. Jacobsen, 40

10. Roberto Tamburini, 37

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Supersport Team:

Van der Mark extends series lead by winning Sepang scorcher

Pata Honda rider Michael van der Mark took his third win of the season and his second in succession in today’s sixth-round World Supersport championship race at Sepang in Malaysia, extending his championship lead to 33 points at the mid-point of the season.

With temperatures in the mid-30s, the 21-year-old Dutch flyer had a good start on his Honda CBR600RR from the front row of the grid. In the opening laps he kept pace with today’s other two podium finishers Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel before taking the lead from Sofuoglu on the eighth lap.

Van der Mark opened a gap but it was bridged in the closing stages by Cluzel who took the lead on the last lap before running a little wide at Sepang’s final corner. The Pata Honda rider held a tighter line, however, and took victory with a winning margin of just 0.018s.

His team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti finished fifth in today’s 14-lap encounter at the 5.548 Sepang International Circuit, moving himself up to fourth place in the championship standings.

The Italian rider, 26, got a good start from row two and settled into the leading group but was just unable to maintain the pace of his Pata Honda team-mate in today’s sweltering conditions.

Michael van der Mark

It’s been a great weekend for my first visit to Malaysia – I love this track and I love this country! From the first practice we were quite fast and yesterday morning in FP3 we showed that we had a really good race pace. I qualified third and my start was quite good, although I braked a bit too early for turn one. I saw I could follow Sofuoglu and Cluzel and got into quite a safe rhythm but they were a bit slower so, after six or seven laps, I passed them and tried to go away. I had a gap of almost one second but the tyre was finished so I couldn’t push any harder and I didn’t want to take any risks. I heard Jules [Cluzel] and knew he would try to overtake me again. I was lucky in the last corner and held a really tight line. My exit wasn’t great but I just won on the finish line. I’m really thankful to the team because they didn’t have any experience here and we worked so fast, and the bike was great!

Lorenzo Zanetti

In the end it was a positive result for the championship. Of course, I’m not really happy because my target today – and in every race - was definitely the podium. All weekend I had a strange feeling on the bike but we found a good way forward yesterday. To match the pace of Mikey [van der Mark] and Cluzel was really difficult. Just in the first six or seven laps on the new tyre I pushed on the limit and stayed with the front group. But in the end I lost some rhythm and had to take the points for the championship.

Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator

It was hot today and we had another fantastic race with a group of five which included both Michael and Lorenzo. In the end Michael got into the lead and he managed to build a gap but his main rival, Cluzel, was closing in on him. In the last lap we had a big battle and Michael forced Cluzel into a mistake and he took a tiny lead to the finish. Another victory gives him a good lead in the championship and it’s going really well for him. In the end Lorenzo couldn’t maintain the pace because he pushed quite hard at the beginning and his tyres were finished. He has moved up in the championship though and I think at Misano we can expect a bit more from him.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Podium Finish For Sofuoglu At Sepang

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) led the 14-lap WSS race at Sepang for seven laps and eventually took a fighting third place finish. He was involved in a battle with Roby Rolfo (Kawasaki Team Go Eleven) in the final stages but came out on top by just over a tenth of a second at the flag.

Sofuoglu’s early push from fourth place on the grid got him clear of some tough battles going on behind in the early stages. He continued pushing hard up front until he was passed at half race distance and he had to fight to keep his eventual podium place against a determined Rolfo.

In taking third place Kenan ended his Malaysian raceday sixth in the championship, with 54 points after three finishes from the six rounds run so far.

Rolfo had started from fifth place on the grid and after an intense battle he was third in the latter stages, until the last two laps when Sofuoglu passed him to take third. Fourth was Roby’s best result of 2014 and puts him eighth in the championship.

Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) was the third best Kawasaki rider at Sepang and finished eighth in a combative race. He is now ninth in the overall rankings.

An unlucky day for Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) meant he crashed out of contention for a top ten finish after taking a tough qualifying start in 11th place. He is still the highest ranked Kawasaki rider in the points, third overall.

Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) who had been hit from behind by another rider on lap 11, was unable to finish and is now tenth in the rankings.

Christian Gamarino (Kawasaki Team Go Eleven) was almost inside the top ten but 11th place at Sepang placed him 15th in the standings. Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) and Tony Covena (Kawasaki Ponyexpres Intermoto) were both in the points at Sepang, with Nocco 13th and Covena 15th.

The Misano Circuit in Italy will provide the backdrop for the WSS riders compete again in round seven of the championship, between 20 and 22 June.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “I did not have the pace to keep my lead and when van der Mark and Cluzel passed me, they could use a throttle a lot more. When I tried this the back end started to slide too much. I did not have the pace for most of the weekend at Sepang but in warm-up we found a set-up that allowed us to turn into the corners and set a fast lap time. I am not surprised a couple of other riders got away in the race. I was prepared to fight for the win but they were too fast. I tried my best I think. We did not have enough time to set-up the bike so that is our issue at the moment. The main thing is that we are back on the podium and if we can improve a bit more I think we can win races. Of course the team has to work hard again and big thanks to them because they really worked hard again all weekend here. Racing is a big package, it is not just about the rider or the mechanics, it has to be everything together.”

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