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Apr 13, 2013

Sofuoglu Takes World Supersport Pole Position At Motorland Aragon (Updated)

FIM Supersport World Championship: Kenan Sofuoglu (54) in action on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R at Motorland Aragon.
FIM Supersport World Championship
Motorland Aragon, Spain
April 13, 2013
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:01.450
2. Sam LOWES, UK (Yamaha YZF-R6), 2:01.610
3. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.216
4. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.239
5. Kevin COGHLAN, UK (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.366
6. Michael VD MARK, Netherlands (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.379
7. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.593
8. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.895
9. Riccardo RUSSO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 2:02.958
10. Raffaele DE ROSA, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 2:02.981

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR Honda's Sheridan Morais will start the second round of the World Supersport Championship from fourth place at Aragon in Spain, with the South African very much in contention for a podium.

Really starting to get to grips with his PTR Honda, Sheridan managed to reduce his lap time from yesterday and is in good shape for the race, which starts at 1330 CET on Sunday 14th April.

David Linortner took over a second off his lap time to jump up to 14th on the grid, within touching distance of the top 10. Luca Marconi slashed half a second off his lap time but dropped a place to 21st. A better racer than qualifier, he has a strong points finish in his sights.

Australian Matt Davies improved by more than half a second and will start from 25th in only his second race in the class.

Nacho Calero, racing at home, put a crash littered Friday behind him to reduce his lap times by nearly two seconds and will start from 28th.

Nacho said: "I am still learning this class and yesterday I made some mistakes. Thank you to my team for repairing my bike and supporting me today, I am happy to be 2-seconds faster. I will do my best in the race and for my home fans."

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager, said: "Sheridan did a good job to qualify fourth and be there to fight for the podium finishes. After the loss of time in Australia, we still have some work to do to match the pace of the top two, but we have made big strides.

"David has improved a lot and can fight for the top 10 for sure. Luca has again improved and shows a lot of potential but could benefit from qualifying further up the grid. Saying that, he will race better and it will be interesting to see how far up the results he will climb.

"Matt and Nacho have improved their performances and are both learning the trade in only their second race at this level. They impress me with their dedication and determination. I'd like to see both of them inside the top 20 in the race, that would be a good step forward."

Final Grid Positions
1. Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Mahi India Kawasaki ZX-6R 2m 01.450s
2. Sam Lowes GBR Yakhnich Yamaha YZF-R6 2m 01.610s
3. Fabien Foret FRA Mahi India Kawasaki ZX-6R 2m 02.216s
4. Sheridan Morais RSA PTR Honda CBR600RR 2m 02.239s
5. Kev Coghlan GBR DMC Lorenzini Kawasaki ZX-6R 2m 02.366s
6. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Honda CBR600RR 2m 02.379s
14. David Linortner AUT PTR Honda CBR600RR 2m 03.438s
21. Luca Marconi ITA PTR Honda CBR600RR 2m 03.744 s
25. Matt Davies AUS PTR Honda CBR600RR 2m 04.170s
28. Nacho Calero Perez ESP PTR Honda CBR600RR 2m 04.737s

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India Puts Both Riders On The Front Row

WSS, Aragon, Spain, 13 April 2013

Kenan Sofuoglu scored his first pole win of the season as he goes for his second race win of the year on Sunday and he will be joined on the front row at Motorland Aragon by his team-mate Fabien Foret

Sofuoglu feels both his bike and team set up has been improved since the last round in Australia, several weeks ago, and that showed in his final lap in qualifying when he posted a 2’01.450, only just off the new track best for this class. That had been set in a free practice session by another rider and was only 0.025 seconds faster.

Foret encountered some issues for a time but he was able to join with Sofuoglu for a final push to set a strong qualifying time and Fabien is now also on the front row, in third position. Always a rider who can shine on raceday, Foret is now looking to improve his overall pace and make a strong showing in the 18-lap WSS race.

Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini rider Kevin Coghlan was impressive at a circuit he has recently tested at, going fifth in a field of 35 riders.

Luca Scassa took his Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres machine to seventh place on the grid. His team-mate David Salom misses his home round through injury but Florian Marino, who was a fine 15th in qualifying, replaced him at Motorland.

Puccetti Racing Kawasaki rider Riccardo Russo was an impressive ninth on the grid, while Vladimir Ivanov finished up 11th on his DMC-Lorenzini Kawasaki. Practice and qualifying were held in good conditions, with a dry track to work on for all riders in all classes.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “My goal was to be on the front row and not to push for a pole position time. I was thinking if it was necessary to try and go faster than Sam Lowes on a 2’01.6 because the race is tomorrow, not today. Fabien had a little problem on his bike earlier so we decided to go out again with him and finally my pole position time was good. It is nice to have it but not necessary for me; it is most important to take 25 points tomorrow. My bike set-up is quite different today compared to yesterday and we have found quite a good way. It looks like I can ride inside 2’01 pace consistently now. I do not have to push too hard to get to that pace and everyone is working well inside the team. We made a list of things to improve on after PI and it looks like everything is already much better. We are just waiting to start the race now.”

Fabien Foret: “I am happy to be on the front row because we had some problems earlier. I have to say thank you to my team and to my team-mate Kenan for doing a lap with me later in the qualifying session. It is good to have been able to make an improvement and now start near the front for the race. I think there is still a bit of lap time to find and we are now working to find the best set-up for raceday.”

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

Second row in Spain for van der Mark

Michael van der Mark will start tomorrow’s second-round World Supersport race at Motorland Aragon in Spain from row two of the grid after finishing sixth in today’s qualifying session.

Towards the end of the 45-minute session, the 20-year-old Dutch rider suffered a small crash at turn three of the 5.344km circuit. However, after checking the bike for damage, van der Mark continued riding and set a time within one tenth of his best lap.

His Pata Honda World Supersport team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, made significant improvements to the set-up on his Honda CBR600RR today and was able to advance to the third row of the grid with the eighth fastest time.

Michael van der Mark – P6, 2m02.379s

This morning I did an impressive race simulation and we saved some tyres for a few fast runs in this afternoon’s qualifying session. I don’t know why, maybe I over-pushed, but I couldn’t find one really fast lap. I was consistent and there was no-one going really fast. At the end I made a small crash and I did some good laps after that but I was a bit disappointed for not finding one really perfect lap. For tomorrow, I’m quite happy because you can see our race pace is really good and I hope we can do it tomorrow.

Lorenzo Zanetti – P8, 2m02.895s

Every session we improved and that’s important. It’s more important that I work really well with the team for the race. This morning I tried a race simulation which was good and the team made some changes to the bike, which improved a lot. I crashed halfway through the qualifying session and after that maybe lost a bit of concentration. We had changed the tyre and it was my mistake, but I still improved the time a little. I think we’re OK for tomorrow.

2013 World Supersport championship, round two – Motorland Aragon, Spain
Final qualifying results:
1 Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 2m01.450s
2 Sam Lowes (GBR) Yamaha 2m01.610s
3 Fabien Foret (FRA) Kawasaki 2m02.216s
4 Sheridan Morais (RSA) Honda 2m02.239s
5 Kevin Coghlan (GBR) Kawasaki 2m02.366s
6 Michael van der Mark (NED) Pata Honda 2m02.379s
7 Luca Scassa (ITA) Kawasaki 2m02.593s
8 Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) Pata Honda 2m02.895s
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