Kenan Sofuoglu

Those Honda Supersport Crankcase Pumps

There was a flurry of excitement in the Italian media a little over a week ago over the parts being used by the Ten Kate Honda Supersport machines. The Italian website Motocorse.com reported that the Ten Kate CBR600RRs had been forced to remove a crankcase pump by the scrutineers after the practice session at Qatar, and that this was what had made it possible for Eugene Laverty to beat Kenan Sofuoglu and Andrew Pitt's Ten Kate bikes on the Parkalgar Honda.

The story was right in all particulars, except for one. The Ten Kate Hondas had practiced with an electric crankcase pump (used to reduce the pumping losses created by the pistons going up and down in the crankcase), and after practice, it had been declared illegal by the scrutineers, despite protests. But this wasn't the reason that the Parkalgar Honda wasn't competitive. For the Parkalgar bikes had had exactly the same thing happen: They too had practiced with exactly the same part, and been forced to remove it by the scrutineers.

Speaking to MotoGPMatters, Parkalgar's Eugene Laverty said, "We had something on for the practice, but we were told to take it off for the race. It wasn't illegal but we had to do it anyway. We didn't run it in the race." If the removal of the pump meant Ten Kate were down on power, the same applied for the Parkalgar team. Laverty's victory over World Supersport title favorites Sofuoglu and Pitt had nothing to do with the loss of an artificial advantage for Ten Kate, and more with the strength of Laverty and the Parkalgar team.

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2009 Phillip Island WSBK And WSS Qualifying - The Perils Of Superpole

The brand new Superpole format adopted by World Superbikes for the 2009 season threw up a great many conundrums at Phillip Island on Saturday, as well as a few surprises. But perhaps most of all, it also threw up confirmation of what some had suspected, and many had hoped.

The format is relatively simple, and borrowed from Formula 1:

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Gerrit Ten Kate: "Spies Will Be Strong This Year"

On a visit to Holland's biggest motorcycle exhibition, the Motorbeurs Utrecht, MotoGPMatters.com ran into Gerrit ten Kate, part-owner of the multiple championship winning World Superbike and World Supersport team. Seizing the opportunity with both hands, we grabbed a few quick words from the Dutchmen on the upcoming World Superbike series, set to kick off on Sunday at Phillip Island, Australia.

MGPM: Who's going to be your number one rider this year?

Gerrit ten Kate: All of them! They'll all be on equal equipment, so it's whoever finishes first. But I expect good things of all of them. Carlos (Checa) is obviously a title candidate, but they're all capable of winning. Carlos will win a couple of races, Johnny (Rea) will win a couple, (Ryuichi) Kiyonari will win a couple.

Apart from Checa, who else look like title candidates. Haga of course...

Of course, Haga. But Spies is looking very strong too. Fabrizio is difficult to tell. He's very much up one week, down the next. But he's still young. Things can suddenly click, and then he'll be something to worry about.

About Moto2, you've expressed an interest in it, how's that going?

We're in discussions about that, but I can't tell you anything more. It's too early to say anything on the record.

It'll be based on a Honda, though?

Of course. Anything we do will be with a Honda.

And you're not worried about the Flamminis  (who hold a contract for racing with production-based motorcycles)?

Not at all. We work with them in a lot of areas, and we're active in a lot of series, so it won't be a problem.

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