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Oct 5, 2013

Sofuoglu Takes FIM World Superpole Pole Position At Magny-Cours (Updated)

FIM Supersport World Championship: Kenan Sofuoglu (54).
FIM Supersport World Championship
Magny-Cours, France
October 5, 2013
Final Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:41.475
2. Sam LOWES, UK (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:42.038
3. Christian IDDON, UK (MV Agusta F3 675), 1:42.076
4. Roberto TAMBURINI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.217
5. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:42.318
6. Danny WEBB, UK (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.376
7. Lorenzo ZANETTI, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.721
8. Michael VD MARK, Netherlands (Honda CBR600RR), 1:42.740
9. Riccardo RUSSO, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:42.752
10. Kev COGHLAN, UK (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:42.842
11. Vladimir LEONOV, Russia (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:42.964
12. Alex BALDOLINI, Italy (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:43.029
13. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (MV Agusta F3 675), 1:43.294
14. Raffaele DE ROSA, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:43.311
15. Massimo ROCCOLI, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:43.342
16. Ronan QUARMBY, South Africa (Honda CBR600RR), 1:43.348
17. Mathew SCHOLTZ, South Africa (Suzuki GSX-R600), 1:43.393
18. Fabien FORET, France (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:43.394
19. Luca SCASSA, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:43.463
20. Jack KENNEDY, Ireland (Honda CBR600RR), 1:43.588

28. Corey ALEXANDER, USA (Honda CBR600RR), 1:45.310

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sofuoglu Scores Pole In Penultimate Round in France

WSS, Magny-Cours, France, 5 October 2013

Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India rider Kenan Sofuoglu had a day of contrasts at a damp and changeable Magny Cours circuit, taking pole position but suffering a late fall in final qualifying.

Some simple bad luck for Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) stopped him from improving his final qualifying position as he aimed for a front row start at this home circuit. He will begin Sunday’s 22-lap WSS race from 18th place on the grid.

At the front of the 33 hopeful riders in qualifying, Sofuoglu finished the day battered from his fast fall but happy to be on pole for the fourth time in 2013, and over half a second faster than his closest competitor and championship leader, Sam Lowes.

No result but a win will do for Sofuoglu on Sunday and he is starting the race from the best possible position on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.

Foret is now looking at making a good start and passing as many riders as possible in the early laps before the front runners make a break, so he can score well at his home event.

Sheridan Morais was a fine fifth on his GO Eleven Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Kawasaki) was one place behind Morais with Kevin Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini) finishing off the top ten in combined qualifying.

Luca Scassa (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) struggled with set-up and was only 19t,h two places up on late call up for the Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres team, Matthieu Lagrive. Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) hurt his wrist in a practice fall and could take no further part in the weekend after riding on Friday.

In the Superstock 600 European Championship race three Kawasaki riders dominated the race on Saturday at Magny Cours. Ninja ZX-6R rider Alessandro Nocco (San Carlo Team Italia) won the race and kept his championship hopes alive, with his team-mate Franco Morbidelli second and Christian Gamarino (Go Eleven Kawasaki) third. In the points Morbidelli has 134, Gamarino 124 and Nocco 120, setting up an intense finale at the Jerez round in two week's time.

Kenan Sofuoglu: “Just when I wanted to push there were about ten riders racing around the track. I was thinking that when I found a free lap and I would have to make a perfect lap. In the third corner I tried to open the throttle a lot, finally I understood that I opened the throttle too much, and I had to lift the bike. The grass I hit was really wet but I still did not expect to lose the front so easily. I am OK in terms of injuries after the crash but I am hurting almost everywhere, because it was a very big one. Tomorrow our pace should be strong because our bike is on a very good level, and hopefully we will have good track conditions and we can win the race.”

Fabien Foret: “It seems like Magny Cours is not a very lucky track for me, but the race is tomorrow, not today. I am a bit upset because it is my home round and between the changing conditions and a small technical problem it was not our day. I lost some track time and I was unable to improve in the final qualifying. I wanted a few laps more because I needed some track time on the 600 again. Starting from 18th I cannot expect anything too much but a hard race, but for sure I should finish a lot better than I start on the grid. I will never give up and try my best and we will see what happens on raceday.”

More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR HONDA'S Danny Webb proved he is getting to grips with his CBR600RR by taking sixth place on the grid for tomorrow's penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship at Magny Cours in France.

In only his third ever event on a Supersport machine he is showing real promise and within touching distance of the front row. Danny said: "We are getting there and I have a good feeling with the bike - we made a positive change to the front end from yesterday. I am a bit surprised at sixth as it was only my second time on track in dry conditions.

"James Toseland is here helping me and he has a lot of experience. I also got a good tow but still had to do the lap time. It was a hard lap time to get down to but I didn't feel out of control, in fact I am feeling really comfortable on the bike. If we can get away with the front runners I think we can stick there in the race and hopefully get a good result; but for now I'll play it cool and chill so there is not too much pressure."

Another wet morning and dry afternoon did not help WSS debutant Lee Johnston as he gets used to a new bike and team, however, he still slashed over a second from his yesterday lap time to take 22nd on the grid.

Luca Marconi in 27th improved slightly on yesterday, while series rookie Corey Alexander in 28th took nearly two seconds off his previous best as he continues a steep learning curve.

Nacho Calero in 28th took more than two seconds from his lap time yesterday but is always a better racer than qualifier. The race starts at 1330CET on Sunday, October 6th.

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager, said: "Danny did a great job in second qualifying and we are now starting to see him challenge inside the top 10. He did a number of good consistent laps and is looking comofortable on the bike - he realistically has a chance at the top six in the race. A special thanks to Sam Lowes for showing Danny round on his fast laps, it has helped him enormously.

"Lee and Corey could have done with more dry time this weekend but have lost half the sessions to rain. Saying that I think they have both done very well so far and are showing a lot of promise by reducing lap times and improving consistently. It will be interesting to see how far they can climb the results sheet tomorrow.

"Luca is not performing as well as he is able and we need to work with him to get him back into a points scoring position. He is capable and clearly so is the bike, so we will pull together as a team and see what changes we can make for tomorrow. Nacho improved a lot today and we expect the same in the race, a top 20 would be a good result."

Final qualifying
1: K Sofuoglu 1:41.475
2: S Lowes +0.563
3: C Iddon +0.601
4: R Tamburini +0.742
5: S Morais +0.843
6: D Webb PTR HONDA +0.901
22: L Johnston PTR HONDA +2.227
27: L Marconi PTR HONDA +3.760
28: C Alexander PTR HONDA +3.835
29: N Calero PTR HONDA +3.882.

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

Third row for Pata Honda World Supersport

Both Pata Honda riders will start from the third row of the World Supersport grid after final qualifying this afternoon determined the grid for tomorrow’s 12th-round race at Magny-Cours in France.

After a wet free practice this morning, the afternoon qualifying session was generally dry although Italian rider Lorenzo Zanetti, 26, was unable to improve his time from yesterday’s session and will start from seventh place on the grid.

Zanetti’s team-mate Michael van der Mark will start alongside him from eighth place after improving his lap time and position today. The Dutch rider’s time was just two hundredths of a second behind Zanetti’s and the 20-year-old feels there is more to come in tomorrow’s 22-lap race at the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit.

Lorenzo Zanetti – P7, 1m42.721s

I am a bit frustrated because I started the session in third place on the provisional front row. But in the last outing there was a lot of traffic and I made a mistake and I was not able to improve my time. It’s strange because the feeling from the tyre is a little different to yesterday but the conditions yesterday were better I think. If the sun arrives tomorrow, and the temperature is a little higher, I have a good chance to battle for the podium.

Michael van der Mark – P8, 1m42.740s

I’m a little disappointed with my starting position because, at the beginning we had some set-up problems, but then we made some changes which made me feel really good for my last outing. I had a good first and second split and then we got the red flag and the session ended. Eighth place is not where I want to be and I think we could at least be on the second row. But we always have a good race pace so we will see tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Unfortunately Lorenzo couldn’t get a free lap this afternoon, there were too many riders in the way and he couldn’t improve his time. We had a red flag right at the end of the session but we think he is in the ballpark to fight at least for a top five finish tomorrow. Michael also got stuck in traffic, which is a big problem in Supersport. We improved the bike though, and I think he can also fight for a top five in the race.