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Oct 2, 2010

Sofuoglu Captures World Supersport Pole Position In France

Kenan Sofuoglu (54).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Magny-Cours, France
October 2, 2010
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Honda CBR600RR), 1:41.372
2. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Honda CBR600RR), 1:41.813
3. Katsuaki FUJIWARA, Japan (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:41.872
4. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:42.006
5. Broc PARKES, Australia (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:42.086
6. David SALOM, Spain (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:42.091
7. Michele PIRRO, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.163
8. Massimo ROCCOLI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.167
9. Gino REA, Great Britain (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.240
10. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.431
11. Robbin HARMS, Denmark (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.520
12. Chaz DAVIES, Great Britain (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:42.596
13. Florian MARINO, France (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.782
14. Roberto TAMBURINI, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:42.919
15. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italuy (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:43.140
16. Julien ENJOLRAS, France (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:43.168
17. Miguel PRAIA, Portugal (Honda CBR600RR), 1:43.448
18. Axel MAURIN, France (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:44.106
19. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Honda CBR600RR), 1:44.271
20. Imre TOTH, Hungary (Honda CBR600RR), 1:45.889

More, from a press release issued by Parkalgar Honda:

Laverty keeps pressure on in title fight

PARKALGAR HONDA racer Eugene Laverty will start from second on the grid for tomorrow's 13th and final round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours in France and has vowed to do all he can to win and keep the pressure on in the title race.

Laverty is 16 points behind Kenan Sofuoglu and the title will be decided tomorrow in the race with a maximum of 25-points up for grabs.

Parkalgar Honda's Miguel Praia is suffering from an injured left hand and could only manage 17th on the grid. The race starts at 1330 CET tomorrow, October 3rd.

Parkalgar Honda will announce its final 2011 rider line-up tomorrow before the start of the World Supersport race tune in to Eurosport for exclusive coverage.

Eugene: "Kenan was quick from the off and we spent most of the session working on the chassis of my Parkalgar Honda for mid-corner performance. We need a little bit more set-up improvement overnight for the race. I am delighted to have finished on the front row again as that is 15 in a row. Kenan has a lot of pace and I will try to go with him. I certainly want to win the race and make it an eighth victory for the team. This has been the best team I have ever worked with, they are my friends and it is sad to be leaving after the race. It would be nice to reward them with another win and maybe even a Championship - who knows what might happen in the race."

Miguel: "Things are not so good after qualifying as I was struggling to make the fast changes of direction and to be aggressive. This is down to my left hand which I injured last week and then hurt further yesterday in a high-speed crash. It is basically holding on to the bar but there is no strength and it is hard to ride like this. I expect the riders in front of me to be running in 1min 43secs pace and I think I can do that as well. I am putting ice on my hand and it seems to be improving so tomorrow I really want to give it my best and try to get to the top 10 for the final race of the season."

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: "Eugene clicked with his bike right at the end of the session and I am sure his crew will find a little more for him overnight. We expect him to be fighting for the race win. It is nice to see Kenan pushing so hard anyone pushing as hard as that may make a mistake and that's what we realistically need if we are to win the Championship. Miguel is up against it with an injured left hand but we will do all we can to make him comfortable on his Parkalgar Honda so he can score as many points as possible in the race."

More, from a press release issued by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda:

Sofuoglu on pole for French finale

Kenan Sofuoglu will start tomorrow's final 2010 World Supersport championship race from pole position after setting the fastest time in today's qualifying session at Magny-Cours in France.

The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider fired his CBR600RR around the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit in a time of 1m41.372s almost half a second faster than second placed rider Eugene Laverty.

Honda-mounted Laverty is the only rider capable of overhauling Sofuoglu's current series lead of 16 points, but the Turkish ace needs to finish in sixth place or above to ensure his second and his team's eight World Supersport championship title.

Sofuoglu's Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Michele Pirro, winner of the last race at Imola in Italy last Sunday, was seventh fastest after Magny-Cours qualifying for a second row start in tomorrow's 22-lap race.

Kenan Sofuoglu P1, 1m41.372s
I said yesterday that when the bike is set up properly I could do a low 41s lap. It shows that the potential of both me and the bike is really strong and we did a good job today. Tomorrow we have to get the points we need for the title, so I won't fight to win the race but hopefully, maybe a podium. Right now, if there was no championship at stake, I think I could win with a good margin because at the moment, I'm easily half a second faster than anyone on race pace. But I don't need that tomorrow, I just need some points. It won't be easy tomorrow, and I hope everyone is safe on the track, but I'm fast enough to push a little bit at the beginning and maybe then relax a little.

Michele Pirro P7, 1m42.163s

The rear grip was a little bit better than yesterday but I am disappointed not to be on the front row. I wasn't able to get in one good fast lap today because of traffic , but a good start tomorrow and I should be able to be near the front in the race. We will check the data and see what we can do to improve for tomorrow and get a little more confidence in the rear grip.

Ronald ten Kate team manager

We couldn't have wished for more for Kenan and it's been a perfect weekend so far for him. He's not holding back a single inch and giving it everything he has! We have seen a lot of fast laps from him so we seem to be prepared for tomorrow. We'll cross our fingers and there's really nothing more we can do. Michele has some work to do to challenge at the front but he is in a good position on the second row to push hard in the race.

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Fujiwara Third On The Grid As Parkes Goes Fifth

Katsuaki Fujiwara will start the 22-lap races on Sunday from third place after two positive qualifying sessions. His team-mate Broc Parkes is fifth, and ready to move up the order on raceday.

Fujiwara was fastest man on day one then made some set-up changes to work towards a better overall race performance on day two. Fujiwara and his team will now study their data and will use morning warm-up on Sunday to find an optimum race set-up.

Parkes found it more difficult than in the previous two rounds to go in a good direction with machine set-up early on in practice, but he and his team made a jump up today. Broc is now full of confidence that he can challenge for a good placing in the race if he gets a clean start. This will only be his third Kawasaki ride in WSS, as he replaces injured team regular Joan Lascorz once again.

Kawasaki Lorenzini by Leoni Ninja ZX-6R pilot Fabien Foret was a front row qualifier at his home circuit, in fourth, and is in an ideal position to go for his first podium finish of the year. Pole was taken by Kenan Sofuoglu, from championship challenger Eugene Laverty.

Katsuaki Fujiwara: "We made some adjustments today, and had two different set-ups, but the feeling from the bike was a little better yesterday. We will maybe change it back a little bit in that direction tomorrow. My lap times are consistent and we spent most time finding a good race set-up, so to be on the front row, in third position, is pretty good."

Broc Parkes: "We were third quickest in the final qualifying session today but fifth overall, so I think the track wasn't as fast as yesterday. We made some improvements on our bike and went a little bit faster. Today we got the bike a lot more consistent and the lap times for the race should be a lot better."

More, from a press release issued by ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing:

David Salom was not able to maintain his position and did not qualify in front row. Despite receiving medical assistance at the mobile clinic, the pain prevented him from pushing more.

Most riders managed to improve their own qualifying times, probably due to the different surface conditions of the Magny Cours track. One of these riders was Chaz Davies, who climbed to twelfth place. The Brit, however, has not yet finished working on set-up and will use the warm up session for that.

Iannuzzo and Enjolras were not able to improve, but they are confident they can ride a good race.

DAVID SALOM | Triumph Daytona 675 | 6th in 1'42.091 : "I gave it my all and went close to setting similar times to yesterday, but I just couldn't do more than that. I'm not in the best shape for the race and this frustrates me because I could've really aimed for the top. I hope the mobile clinic will help me even more, hopefully will score a good result and finish fifth in the overall standings".

CHAZ DAVIES | Triumph Daytona 675 | 12th in 1'42.596 : "We couldn't do what we had in mind this morning, because of the wet surface. As a consequence, we did things differently suspension-wise in the afternoon qualifying, when I managed to improve but not as much I was hoping to. We're on the right path, I just hope to make another step forward in warm up tomorrow morning".

VITTORIO IANNUZZO | Triumph Daytona 675 | 15th in 1'43.140 : "It didn't go as I wanted to, but I basically posted the same qualifying times as yesterday. I need to get a good start and hopefully will end the season with a good result".

JULIEN ENJOLRAS | Triumph Daytona 675 | 16th in 1'43.168 : "I'm satisfied with my pace, but I wanted to do more and improve my time. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of time waiting for the right towing, but this will not affect my race. I'll be aiming for top 10".