The reigning WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was in fine form as he notched up win number five of the season at the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round on Sunday. On his Kawasaki ZX-6R Sofuoglu rode with caution in the early laps but ultimately beat championship rival Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) by just 0.08s, whilst Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crossed the line in third.
Pole man Sofuoglu dropped back to fourth in the early stages with PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Mahias contesting the lead and Cluzel also getting in the mix.
But Jacobsen would eventually fall back to finish fifth, behind fourth placed Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), whilst Cluzel ultimately ran a lonely last few laps to third.
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Mahias put some pressure on Sofuoglu on the last lap as the Frenchman sought to retain the lead in the general standings, but the Kawasaki rider was too strong as he showed his class for a narrow – but crucial – triumph.
Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag), Christoffer Bergman (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) completed the top ten.
In an incident packed 18 lap contest there were crashes for the likes of Stefan Hill (Profile Racing), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing), Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), whilst Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) missed out on the race due to technical problems with his MV Agusta F3 675 machine.
The WorldSSP riders return to action at the Pirelli French Round in two weeks’ time.
P1 – Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“This one is very special, if you win a difficult race it means more. Lucas was very strong, I was ready for the fight and because it is also the battle for the championship with Lucas it is more special for me.”
#PORWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki
2. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha +0.080
3. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda +2.294
WorldSSP Championship Standings Proseccco DOC Portuguese Round
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki (145 points)
2. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha (141 points)
3. Sheridan Morais (RSA) Yamaha (114 points)