Turkish rider gracious in defeat after stunning performance in Qatar
Securing a stunning podium finish in the Acerbis Qatar Round just five weeks after sustaining a triple fracture to his hip, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) put in a heroic performance to take third position under the night skies of Qatar.
Arriving at the Losail International Circuit with his only intentions to be to win the race, the Turkish rider took his weekend fairly steadily as he began to gage his levels of fitness. He secured fourth position on the grid, and with all eyes on his green ZX-6R he had a tentative start to the race, ensuring he wasn’t involved in another accident. But once he found himself comfortable with his Kawasaki, he was able to progress through the field and was fighting for podium positions. Crossing the line in third position – without the help of painkillers – the 33 year old was delighted to take the runner-up spot in the championship.
Sofuolgu explains his stunning race: “At the beginning of the race it was very difficult with everyone riding around me. When they had all calmed down and started to ride normally, I started to pass them and put in very good lap times. I almost got to the leaders’ group but Caricasulo was riding very aggressively. We still got to the podium at the end, set the lap record and were second in the world championship. I am very happy, honestly, because we did not lose the championship today, we lost the championship in the races we did not start. All the races we rode to the finish we took a podium. I just need to be happy and say thank you to all the doctors who supported me this weekend.”
Relive some of the stunning race victories from Sofuoglu throughout the 2017 season, all available on the WorldSBK VideoPass.