WorldSSP: Sofuoglu Secures Pole in Southern Spain
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) set a blisteringly fast pace in Tissot-Superpole 2 to secure the top spot and set a new lap record. His teammate Randy Krummenacher qualified close behind in second.
The final minute of the session saw a battle at the top of the timesheets play out again between the two Kawasaki riders with Krummenacher being the fastest. However, Sofuoglu showed his experience and prowess to beat his teammate just before the clocks timed out in the last ten seconds.
MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Jules Cluzel set the third fastest time to lock out the front row of the grid, after graduating from Superpole 1 in the earlier session. Kallio Racing Team’s Niki Tuuli kept a consistent pace to finish in fourth ahead of Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) who secured fifth, despite a light crash at the end of the session at Turn 6.
The first qualifier of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup was Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia) who set the sixth fastest time ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s PJ Jacobsen in seventh. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. Honda Racing) finished eighth, while DS Junior Team’s Illia Mykhalchyk locked out ninth on the grid.
ESS leader Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia) crashed out of the session with three minutes remaining; he was able to secure P10 on the grid. It was a frustrating result for the young Italian who will need to work harder from further back on the grid on Sunday, if he intends on winning the ESS Cup. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the second rider to move through from Tissot-Superpole 1 and will be starting from P11 on the grid in Sunday’s race.
Ninth in Superpole 1 was Lorenzo Zanetti who manned Gino Rea’s GRT Racing MV Agusta machine after the Brit was injured at the end of FP2 on Friday. The Italian will replace the Brit at GRT racing and will be starting from P19 on the grid.
WorldSSP will fight it out in the penultimate Round of the FIM Supersport World Championship on Sunday 16th of October at 11:20 local time (GMT+2).
Quotes from the top three riders:
K.Sofuoglu (Kawasaki): “It’s going well. Actually this weekend I haven’t done many laps. I just did a race simulation yesterday which went well. This morning I just did a few laps and now Superpole, one fast lap, it’s not too bad. I’m happy to make a track record because this was the time I really wanted to reach in winter testing. I couldn’t do it then and now I’m really happy to see the 1’42. The bike is good and everything is ready.”
R.Krummenacher (Kawasaki): “It wasn’t that easy. This morning things got a bit better and in Superpole the temperature was a bit higher. That’s the same for everyone. But I was struggling a bit more, I had a bit more rear grip this morning. So we have to analyse and see how we can improve. In general we are also consistent and it seems to be quite easy to run a constant 1’43 for me, so that’s very good for the race.”
J.Cluzel (MV Agusta): “I’m really happy about today because being in third place in Superpole it’s like a miracle. For tomorrow’s race for sure I expect a really hard fight and if I can be here (parc ferme) it will be a dream, because we are not good with the bike this weekend. We are losing a little bit everywhere. I need to push really hard for one lap. After the tyre was destroyed and we need to improve. We still have time, we have to work tonight. Hopefully my team will find some good things for tomorrow and I believe we can be here.”
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2:
K.Sofuoglu, Kawasaki (1’42.969)
R.Krummenacher, Kawasaki (1’43.311)
J.Cluzel, MV Agusta (1’43.996)