WSSP Spain: Sofuoglu, Supersport 2016 world champion
Victorious this afternoon in Jerez, Kenan Sofuoglu retains his title in World Supersport! The five-time world champion pushed his Kawasaki Pucetti teammate Randy Krumenacher to their limits and perfectly mastered the promising Niki Tuuli…
Departure : Kenan Sofuoglu starts off impeccably from pole position and takes the lead ahead of his teammate and last rival in the championship Randy Krummenacher, Niki Tuuli, Kyle Smith, Patrick Jacobsen, Axel Bassani, Jules Cluzel – badly – started third on the grid, Federico Caricasulo, Alessandro Zaccone, Ayrton Badovini, etc.
Krummenacher tries his luck at the end of the opposite straight line, passes in front of his teammate, but raises the helmet and watches Sofuoglu regain the lead. Tuuli is in the rhythm of the Kawasaki Pucetti, unlike Smith who leads the pack, seven tenths of a second behind the Yamaha n ° 66.
The start of the race turned out to be complicated for our "Julo" who had to fight against several Italians … The "Coq Supersportif" stole his sixth place from Bassani (first Superstock driver) just before starting the third lap. Official MV Agusta now puts the hunting party in his sights.
Krummenacher has the feeling of being slowed down by Sofuoglu in the middle of the 4th lap hairpin and cannot suppress a wave! A lap later, the Swiss rookie takes advantage of a gap – voluntary ?! – the quadruple Turkish champion to take the reins of the race. Tuuli takes the opportunity to infiltrate in second position.
In the first corner of the 5th lap, however, the Ninja n ° 21 loses the front and goes through the gravel … Kenan Sofuoglu knows from this moment that he (re-re-re-re-re) becomes world champion , whatever its result! Randy tries to start again but must finally give up a lap later.
The "Number One" takes its time before attacking Tuuli, again with – big – braking of the hairpin. Oddly, Ninja # 1 turns around passing the rope and waves to his pursuer at the exit of the hairpin, returning the command..
A small second behind the leading duo (Yamaha and Kawasaki) are the three Honda of Kyle Smith, Patrick Jacobsen and Federico Caricasulo. Jules Cluzel did not finally get rid of Axel Bassani and continues to fight with him for sixth place, three seconds behind the CBRs.
In front, Sofuoglu slides his ZX-6R under Tuuli’s R6 between the two fast curves Nieto and Peluqui! The Turkish rider starts the second half of the race just ahead of Niki, and a second ahead of PJ and Kyle who are fighting for the third step of the podium.
Sofuoglu seems very feverish: he turns around several times in the opposite straight line and lowers his nose towards his dashboard as he enters the hairpin … The five-time WSSP champion loses the suction of the leading Yamaha n ° 66 and must hear the Honda n ° 111 coming back to him. Jacobsen disappears from Smith’s wake.
Seven laps from the end, the three leading men find themselves in the same half-second. Jacobsen is a second behind and must be wary of Caricasulo’s return to his yellow Honda. Five seconds behind the Italian, Bassani, Cluzel, Badovini and Mykhalchyk are all aiming for sixth place. Cédric Tangre is 23rd.
In the next loop, Sofuoglu takes the lead again. Smith attempts an attack on Tuuli in the last corner, wins on the inside but loses his support on the outside footrest, bites into the grass – inside the hairpin! – but do not fall and go back to coal.
In the next two loops, however, the English driver gradually loses contact with the two leaders and PJ Jacobsen gets closer to his third place … Eight seconds away, Cluzel continues to fight almost in every turn! Caricasulo fell two laps from the end, offering his fifth place … Jules, Axel, Illia or Ayrton ?
In front, Kenan Sofuoglu passed the overdrive and quickly distance Niki Tuuli. The Turkish driver is flying to his sixth victory this season … and to his fifth world title, the second in a row! Before him, only Sébastien Charpentier had managed to keep the No. 1 plate in WSSP. Well done Kenan! And congratulations to Kawasaki, titled at the same time.
Taking advantage of Krummenacher’s fall, Cluzel finds himself only 3 points behind second place in the 2016 championship … Fourth in Jerez, Jacobsen climbs to four small points behind our compatriot … The scheduled World Supersport final "by night" in two weeks will therefore be decisive !
Let us underline the appearance in the world Top 10 of Niki Tuuli who however took the start only of the last three races, but obtained three second places! The Finn will be watched closely in Qatar … and throughout the 2016 season ?
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