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Sep 23, 2012

FIM Supersport World Championship Race Results From Portugal

Jules Cluzel (16).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Portimao, Portugal
September 23, 2012
Race Results (all on Pirelli tires)

1. Jules CLUZEL, France (Honda CBR600RR), 20 laps, 36:05.886
2. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -0.645 second
3. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -0.969
4. Broc PARKES, Australia (Honda CBR600RR), -1.035 seconds
5. Sam LOWES, UK (Honda CBR600RR), -3.905
6. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -5.936
7. Dan LINFOOT, UK (Kawasaki ZX-6R), -22.555
8. Alex BALDOLINI, Italy (Triumph Daytona 675), -22.595
9. Ronan QUARMBY, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), -23.121
10. Matthew SCHOLTZ, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), -23.740

World Championship Point Standings (after 12 of 13 races):

1. Sofuoglu, 218 points (clinches World Championship)
2. Cluzel, 185
3. Foret, 160
4. Lowes, 152
5. Parkes, 135
6. Morais, 94
7. Baldolini, 86
8. Quarmby, 84
9. Iannuzzo, 60
10. TIE, Leonov/Antonelli, 52

More, from a press release issued by Bogdanka PTR Honda:

BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes finished fifth in the penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Portimao in Portugal, with the delayed race held in dry but damp conditions after a morning downpour. The Briton remains in fourth in the overall standings, just eight points from third position.

World Supersport rookie, Mathew Scholtz on the other Bogdanka PTR Honda, equalled his best result of the season after finishing the race in tenth position, to move himself five places up, to 19th, in the overall standings.

After making up four places on the opening lap, Bogdanka Honda PTR's Adrian Pasek retired from his World Supersport debut with six laps to go after gathering important experience over the course of the weekend. The last round of the 2012 season will take place in two weeks time at Magny Cours in France.

Sam Lowes: "I didn't have the best of starts but the bike was feeling good and I was doing well early on. A few laps in I had a big moment and nearly crashed in the last corner and hurt my shoulder. It took me a long time to recover and I lost some time. I was struggling a little bit at the end but other than that it's been good so it's not that bad. It was unlucky to have the race in a bit of strange conditions as the track wasn't very good after the rain and the lap times were a lot slower than in practice; but I'm looking forward to Magny Cours already and want to end the season on a high."

Mathew Scholtz: "The track was damp early on so I took it easy. My start wasn't too good. I think I dropped back to around 18th place but slowly started to make my way up to tenth position. I was catching others in some parts of the track but losing a bit of time elsewhere, so I stayed in tenth until the end and I'm really happy about equalling my best result of the year after crashing out in Germany. I'm really looking forward to Magny Cours, which will be another new circuit for me. I hope I can end my first World Supersport season with the best result of the year there."

Adrian Pasek: "I couldn't finish the race, so the end result wasn't perfect, but the main thing was that I could get plenty of experience under my belt this weekend. I had a small problem with the brake leaver as well as changing down the gears, but I've also made a few mistakes and went out of the track a couple of times. It was very damp at the start but I've started really well and made up a few places. I was alone from then on and it was difficult to keep a consistent rhythm on my own. In the end I retired as the guys fighting for the championship were getting close, so I didn't want to get in their way, but it's OK. I've learned a lot and know where I need to step up and what to expect if I want to make my way to World Supersport in the future. There's a lot of work ahead of me but I'll work hard over the winter and will see where that takes us."

Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam didn't get a great start and had a really big moment on the last corner early on. He hurt his shoulder in that moment but he rode a determined race to finish, even though he couldn't make up the ground he had lost. We go to the last race to see if we can get third in the Championship and end on a high. Mathew did a really good job all weekend and it is great to see him have a solid weekend and another top 10 finish."

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel enjoyed a brilliant victory after a race-long fight at the front of the 12th round of the World Supersport Championship at Portimao in Portugal - taking PTR's tally of wins to five out of 12 races in 2012.

Ronan Quarmby, starting 20th, finished a superb ninth in the race on his PTR Honda. Martin Jessopp on the Riders PTR Honda also improved on his qualifying of 29th, taking 22nd at the chequered flag. Four PTR riders finished in the top 10 with the Bogdanka bikes of Sam Lowes in fifth and Mathew Scholtz in 10th.

The final round of the World Championship takes place at Magny Cours in France on Sunday 7th October.

Jules: "That was one of my hardest races so I am really happy to win. I had big problems braking at the start of the race but then I calmed myself down and really concentrated. Then at the end I relaxed for the last three laps and was able to do good lap times. For me the target was to do my best and win if I could, I was not thinking about the Championship. I will be more relaxed now the title is decided for my home race at Magny Cours and will want a good result as I think I will have a lot of fans coming to watch. "

Ronan: "That was a good result after what has been a really tough weekend for me. Starting 20th I got a bad start and was 24-25th. I got up to seventh, and finished ninth and I am happy with it, it is decent points. There is one more round and I want to qualify better. Today though, it has been a great race, my PTR Honda has been amazing and I am happy."

Martin: "I don't know what happened but right from the start I couldn't get down the gears and on the first two laps I ran off the track twice. The only way round it was to brake very early into every corner and that didn't help me to get a good result - which was always going to be difficult from 29th on the grid."

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules did everything he could to win the race. Kenan did what he had to do to win the Championship. PTR has secured the runners-up spot and we hope to win the last race and come back fighting next year and win the title. Ronan gave himself a lot to do by not qualifying well but rode a great race and did a good job. Martin had trouble with gear selection - but it was always going to be difficult from 29th on the grid. He stuck to his task and finished which is credit to him."

More, form a press release issued by Power Team by Suriano:

Power Team by Suriano gained another brilliant result in Portugal: the 8th place of Alex Baldolini, that allows the rider to confirm himself at the 7th place on the general ranking. Bad luck for Vittorio Iannuzzo, that after a great start was hit by a competitor. The Italian rider suffered an injury at the back and knee, that had to be immobilized. Right after one lap, Baldolini was the only standard-bearer for the team. With the track still wet for the rain, he was able to recover positions up to lead the group that was fighting over the 7th place. He lost it for only 4 thousandths. With this result Power Team by Suriano keeps the 5th place on the ranking with 11 points over team TEN KATE.

Alex Baldolini Triumph Daytona 675 #25 - It's been a tough-strategy round since the track was getting more dry lap after lap. I kicked off choosing dry-tyres but with a soft setting that could have fit anyway. I gave my 100% to recover on the group but tha gap was already quite high. We fight all- round-long and even if I was optimistic about catching Linfoort, at the end he did a good job keeping me behind".

Vittorio Iannuzzo Triumph Daytona 675 #31 "I thought I was able to do a better race. I didn't expect that a rider experienced like Praia hit me. It's a pity, since I could have conquered some points for me and the team. I hope for a better round in Magny Cours".

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sofuoglu The Champion With Kawasaki In Supersport!

WSS, Portimao, Portugal, 23 September 2012

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Lorenzini) secured the title in the FIM Supersport World Championship today at Portimao with a controlled second place, only 0.645 seconds from another race win.

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 is the most successful rider in WSS history and allied to his Kawasaki Lorenzini Ninja ZX-6R he has been a potent force throughout the season, winning four races - so far. Kenan now joins Andrew Pitt as a rider who has won the WSS Championship on a Kawasaki.

The career statistics for Kenan are simply outstanding, with three titles (2007, 2010 and 2012), 48 podiums from 68 races, and a record total of 21 individual race wins. Four of those wins and nine of the podiums have come in his first year as a Kawasaki rider.

Kenan was joined on the podium today by third place finisher Fabien Foret (Intermoto Step Racing) while Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini) battled hard to go sixth today and be sixth overall in the championship with one round to go.

MSD R-N Team India Kawasaki rider Dan Linfoot was an impressive seventh today, his team-mate Florian Marino unlucky to miss a point in 16th place. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) was 19th.

Kenan Sofuoglu: "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."

Sheridan Morais: "I got a decent start but once near the front I ran wide at turn five a few times and lost two or three seconds, so I just could not close the gap. I could maintain it but not close it, no matter how hard I tried, and I tried really hard. It was a tough race but I earned some good points and I am sixth in the championship. So I am looking forward to the next round in Magny-Cours. Well done to Kenan and everybody for winning the championship."
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