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Jun 17, 2017

World Supersport: Kenan Sofuoglu Takes Superpole Victory, American PJ Jacobsen Qualifies 8th At Misano (Updated)

Kenan Sofuoglu (1). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

FIM Supersport World Championship

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, San Marino

June 17, 2017

Qualifying Results (all on Pirelli tires):

From Superpole Session Two:

1. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:38.672

2. Jules CLUZEL, France (Honda CBR600RR), 1:38.770

3. Federico CARICASULO, Italy (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:38.963

4. Lucas MAHIAS, France (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:39.156

5. Christian GAMARINO, Italy (Honda CBR600RR), 1:39.235, crash

6. Luke STAPLEFORD, UK (Triumph Daytona 675), 1:39.433

7. Sheridan MORAIS, South Africa (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:39.517

8. PJ JACOBSEN, USA (MV Agusta F3 675), 1:39.535, mechanical

9. Kyle SMITH, UK (Honda CBR600RR), 1:39.600

10. Gino REA, UK (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:39.786

11. Axel BASSANI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-6R), 1:39.790

12. Anthony WEST, Australia (Yamaha YZF-R6), 1:40.043

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

WorldSSP: Sofuoglu continues unstoppable form

World Champion to head the WorldSSP grid at Misano ahead of Cluzel and Caricasulo on front row

At the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round on Saturday afternoon the WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) grabbed his third pole of 2017 and the 33rd of his career in the class, with the Turkish rider joined on the front row by Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team).

Having won the last three races in succession Sofuoglu has responded in style to his injury earlier in the year and he will be aiming to continue his winning streak in Sunday’s race at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”.

Sofuoglu’s 1’38.672 lap on the Kawasaki ZX-6R put him ahead of his rivals, with Cluzel qualifying seond by a +0.098s margin. Caricasulo was +0.291s down on Sofuoglu’s time for third place.

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) were fourth to sixth respectively, to fill the second row.

On row three are Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini). Behind Briton Smith on the timesheet was his compatriot Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) who heads row four.

That fourth row will also feature Axel Bassani (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) and Anthony West (EAB West Racing). Smith and Morais had made it through from an SP1 session which was briefly red flagged after a crash for Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing) who ended up 28th on the final grid.

The WorldSSP riders will race at the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round at 11.30am local time on Sunday.

Pole position - Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)

"Until today it was quite difficult, we had some technical problems yesterday but the important thing is that we are very strong and even in Superpole i secured my best laps. I didn't do my best lap, but I did a fast lap and tomorrow the goal is to win the race."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

  Sofuoglu Takes Superpole Again In WorldSSP

Five-time WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured his 33rd career Superpole race win, and his third of the 2017 season, with a 1.38.672 lap at Misano this afternoon. Kyle Ryde, his young team-mate, qualified 19th on the grid.

An incredible comeback from early season bad luck continued in Superpole 2 for Sofuoglu at round seven, extending his own record of career Superpole wins to 33, as he went 0.098 seconds faster than the next rider in the ranking, Jules Cluzel.

After experiencing a technical issue and then a fall on Friday, yet still finishing the opening day on top of the time sheets, Kenan and his crew made their expected progress today to earn a start from the ideal grid position for Sunday’s 19-lap race.

Ryde did not have the results he had expected in Superpole 1 and now starts the race from the front of the seventh row, but intent on making up places and getting well into the points on Sunday.

Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “Yesterday we had a small technical problem, then a fall, but the important thing is that my pace is still very strong. I cannot say that I did a really fast single lap in Superpole but I still set a pole position lap time, which is very good for the start of the race. Superpole is always a positive thing to win, but it the main goal is to win the race tomorrow.”

Kyle Ryde, stated: “I went a full second faster earlier today than I did yesterday so I thought that it would all come together well in Superpole. I think I tried too hard when I had fresh tyres on the bike but apart from not getting the grid position I wanted, we have made a step forward from yesterday.”

Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was tenth after Superpole, Axel Bassani (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) - who is standing in for the injured Michael Canducci – was 11th.

Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) went 17th in the timesheets, Ryde 19th, with two more Kawasaki riders, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) 20th and 21st respectively.

Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) ended his preparations for Sunday’s race in 24th place, with Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) 28th.

More, from a press release issued by CIA Landlords Insurance Honda:

Cluzel confident ahead of Misano race

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider, Jules Cluzel qualified on the front row of the grid in 2nd position for tomorrow’s World Supersport race at Misano, missing out on Pole Position by under a tenth of a second. Cluzel lost time in his second run of Superpole Two when he caught Kyle Smith into the last corner but the 28-year-old has shown that he is more than ready to win his first World Supersport race of 2017.

Jules said: “I am really happy with qualifying because I had a really strong pace and I think we could have got pole position because I lost a few tenths in the last sector. I was blocked so I can say for sure that I lost time. We were less than a tenth from Kenan so for sure I had the possibility to make pole but I am still happy. Most important is the race tomorrow, I have the confidence so I am looking forward to it. I think Kenan will be the most consistent rider tomorrow and the Yamaha boys will be there and really hot. Mahias is here and he wants to fight, he doesn’t want to lose points. Caricasulo already told me that he wants to fight for the victory and for his team mates so I think it will be hot tomorrow. I need to take the positive things and try to win my first race of the season.”

There was disappointment in Superpole One for Hikari Okubo when the session was red-flagged as he was on two red-sectors to qualify for Superpole Two. When the session re-started he was again on for the top of the timesheet when he clipped the kerb at the last corner and slid off. He faces the unenviable challenge of starting the race tomorrow from 33rd position.

Robin Mulhauser did his best lap time of the weekend in SP1, qualifying 22nd. The Swiss rider is looking to make more progress in tomorrow’s warm up and is hopeful he can battle for a points finish in the race.

Hiromichi Kunikawa made good progress in Free Practice 3 and qualified well in the afternoon’s SP1. He is building confidence and getting steadily closer to the pack. His target is to finish as close to the top twenty as possible in the race tomorrow.

CIA Landlord Insurance Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a really good qualifying for Jules. We were confident that he would qualify on the first two rows but to be in 2nd position on the grid is fantastic. We have good race pace and as I said after FP2, we went into qualifying in good shape and now we go into the race in a really good position. There’s a little bit of chatter on the last turn so we’ll see if we can improve that for warm up. It is going to be a tough race of course, as with all WSS races now. There’s a really strong field there but we have a really good chance of the win tomorrow. It was a real shame for Hikari, he had the potential for top six in this race. It’s going to be tough for him from the back of the grid but he is a fighting guy and I’m sure he will get well into the points and get the best possible result. Robin improved in SP1 so that’s positive. It would be good for his confidence going into the summer break if he could finish in the points here at Misano. Hiromichi is again at a circuit that is new to him but he is starting to work better so let’s see what we can do tomorrow to fight as hard as we can for the best finish.”