Niki Tuuli secures debut pole position in France 1As Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) qualified in pole position at the Pirelli French Round ahead of second placed Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) there was drama as World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a heavy crash late in Tissot Superpole 2 for the WorldSSP class.

Tuuli will head the grid for Sunday’s race at Magny-Cours after lapping 0.152s ahead of closest challenger Morais.

With just over a minute on the clock the session was red-flagged and concluded early as Sofuoglu crashed between turns 8 and 9 and required assistance from marshals at track side. The Turkish rider, who leads the championship, was taken away to the medical centre for checkups.

On row two at Round 11, meanwhile, are Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in fourth to sixth places respectively.

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Frenchman Jules Cluzel heads row three in seventh place on the grid for his home race, in front of his fellow CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Christoffer Bergman, with PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) slotting in behind them in ninth.

The fourth row will feature Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI) and Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). Watanabe and Bergman were the two riders to make it through from the earlier SP1 session.

The WorldSSP riders will commence their 19-lap race around the 4.411km Magny-Cours track at 11.30am local time on Sunday.

Pole Position – Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing)
“It was a really difficult day today with the weather, as it was wet and then dry. I was hoping it was going to stay wet and not be mixed, but my plan was to not change the tyre. It was my time today and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2:
1. Niki Tuuli (FIN) Yamaha 1.43.833
2. Sheridan Morais (RSA) Yamaha 1.43.985 (+0.152)
3. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1.43.994 (+0.161)

Kenan Sofuoglu narrowly secures fifth victory of 2017