WorldSSP title holder Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) notched his first pole of 2017 on Saturday at the Acerbis Dutch Round with a 1’37.805 best lap, to put him ahead of PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) on the first row.
Sofuoglu will be looking to take full advantage of his top spot on the grid as he looks for his first points of the year in Sunday’s race, with injury having hampered him earlier in the season – followed by a crash in Aragon.
Turkish rider Sofuoglu qualified a significant 0.674s margin ahead of Jacobsen in Tissot Superpole 2 at Assen, with Canducci just behind the American in third.
Row two will comprise championship standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), his fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and South African rider Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing).
Lining up on the third row are British pair Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) – the latter of those two having won the 2016 Assen race – ahead of Italy’s Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team).
Two more Britons will feature on the fourth row, Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in tenth and 12th respectively. They sandwich 11th placed qualifier Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) who made it through from SP1. Soomer was the highest qualifier of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup class riders.
Also graduating from the earlier Tissot Superpole 1 shootout was Stapleford, who was 0.057s quicker than Soomer in that session.
The fourth WorldSSP race of the year takes place at 11.30am local time on Sunday morning at the Acerbis Dutch Round – and could produce a fourth different winner of the year so far, with victories already in 2017 for Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag), Caricasulo and Mahias.
Pole Position – Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“I am very, very happy with that. Yesterday in qualifying I spent all my time working for race simulations and long runs on the track. For Superpole I thought I could do a 1’37 and a track record. When we took to the track in Superpole 2 we put in a soft tyre and set a new track record. I am happy for this and for the pole win because the season started in a very difficult way for me. Now it is coming good – but most important is tomorrow and to try and get 25 points for winning the race.”
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2:
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki 1.37.805
2. PJ Jacobsen (USA) MV Agusta 1.38.479 (+0.674)
3. Michael Canducci (ITA) Kawasaki 1.38.556 (+0.751)