Turkish world champion announces retirement ahead of Pata Italian Round
Five time FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu has announced he will compete in his final race this weekend around Autodromo Internazionale Enzo d Dino Ferrari di Imola this weekend, as he announces his retirement from racing.
Sitting out of three of the opening four rounds of the 2018 season, the Turkish rider has been hindered by injury in recent seasons, which has led to the decision to end his illustrious racing career at the age of 33.
Continuing to recover from the hip injury sustained in Magny-Cours last year, Sofuoglu has faced big challenges in recent seasons. Bouncing back from a wrist injury at the start of 2017, his crash around Magny-Cours the same year proved a costly one. Putting on a sensational comeback around Losail International Circuit to take a third position finish, it seemed the injury affected the champion more than he thought. After a crash around Phillip Island in the opening race of 2018, he discovered the injury was still having an effect on his fitness.
Coinciding with his 20 year anniversary of racing, Sofuoglu is set to take to the track one last time this weekend as he signs off after a career of 85 podiums, 43 victories and five world titles.
Sofuoglu explains his decision: “As the President wishes I am going to retire from racing this weekend, and I will celebrate my 20 years of racing anniversary this weekend! In the last couple of months I had a few injures which made my family very afraid, as well as our President. I have decided to retire from racing earlier than I originally thought, but I can’t say I am sad because I have already coached and trained a few Turkish riders who will carry the flag for me. I started my racing career 20 years ago, with a goal to race in the world championships, and I have won the world title five times; I am very thankful for that. Many people supported me while winning these titles and I want to thank everyone for that. For Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team and for my fans, I will be on track one last time from 11th – 13th May in Italy”.
Manuel Puccetti, Kawasaki Racing Team manager adds: “We are really sorry to lose such a talent like Kenan in the team, but we understand and respect his decision. For us it has been an opportunity to work with one of the most professional and strongest riders in the Supersport category. It has been an honour having him in the team. We would like to thank him because we have grown a lot thanks to him and his collaboration. With Kawasaki we made a fantastic group and for sure we will keep working together in the future. Kenan is the manager of our current rider in WorldSBK, and in the future we will probably have other talents from his school and we will keep working together with Kawasaki and the Turkish Motorcycle Federation. There are many different best moments of our seasons together, but I will never forget the feeling when we won our first title in Magny Cours. I think that it is really difficult to forget”.
Thank Kenan for the memories using #ThankYouKenan on social media channels’
Enjoy an emotional Pata Italian Round as Sofuoglu makes his WorldSSP swansong, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass. Thank Kenan for the memories using #ThankYouKenan on social media channels’