Turkish champion sticks with Italian team for 2018
Five-time World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will remain a factory rider with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team for the 2018 season, and both the factory and the rider are delighted to keep hold of this strong partnership.
The Turkish rider is the most successful WorldSSP rider, holding the record for the most world titles in the series and has been a Kawasaki rider since 2012 – riding for the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team since 2015.
With five WorldSSP titles to his name, three of Sofuoglu’s crowns have been won while riding the Ninja ZX-6R, and his most recent championships have been taken with the support of the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing set-up.
Sofuoglu is currently still at the height of his career, overcoming an unlucky start of the season which was disrupted by a training injury and then an unavoidable zero points scoring finish in the third round. Since then he has won the last three races in succession and currently sits second in the championship table.
He holds an impressive record in the WorldSSP championship, even though Sofuoglu has spent the majority of his long international career in the middleweight class; he has scored 81 podium finishes in 120 starts and has won 41 races. His pole position record sits at 32, but even more remarkably he has started 97 of his 120 races from the front row of the grid. He was champion in 2007 and 2010 before taking titles with Kawasaki in 2012, 2015 and 2016.
“Firstly I would like to say a big thanks to Kawasaki,” begins Sofuoglu. “They see me as ‘their’ rider and they would be very happy for me to stay in WorldSSP and keep winning on their bike. From my side, I have a very good connection with Kawasaki, especially Racing Manager for Europe, Steve Guttridge. He is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. When he brings anything to me I do not have to think about it. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team is another reason I want to continue, as I am really enjoying my racing and they are doing a great job. They build me a bike which is ready to win. All of these reasons have lined up perfectly to allow me continue racing and enjoy my riding. The bike gives us what we need to win races and it has proved itself at the highest level. Right now we are taking 100% from the bike. With all of these things together I am happy to race again with this package.”
Keep up with Sofuoglu’s 2017 championship charge, as he heads to Misano unbeaten in the last three races. All action can be watched exclusively with the WorldSBK VideoPass.