Newly-crowned World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu has made no secret of his desire to move to Moto2 next season. Representatives of the Turkish rider were in the paddock at Aragon, where they spoke to several teams about a ride for 2011. So far, no news has emerged of exactly where Sofuglu will be racing next year, but a hint comes in a press release issued today by the Technomag CIP team.
For the Technomag team has announced that Kenan Sofuoglu is to take the ride left vacant by Shoya Tomizawa, who was killed in a tragic accident at Misano. Sofuoglu is to contest the final two races of the season with the Technomag CIP team, at Estoril and Valencia, aboard Tomizawa's Suter Moto2 machine.
This is not the first time Sofuoglu has ridden a Moto2 bike: The 2007 and 2010 World Supersport champion tested a couple of Moto2 bikes earlier this year, the Turk describing them rather disparagingly as "like badly set up World Supersport machines." The bikes have moved on a great deal since then, so the comparison between the current machines and Sofuoglu's WSS machine will be very interesting.
Sofuoglu's biggest worry at the moment, however, is his race number. Sofuoglu is highly superstitious about running with #54, the number he has always used in WSS and WSBK, and really wants to use it on the Moto2 machine as well. However, that number has already been used this season by British rider Kev Coghlan, who ran as a wildcard aboard the Joe Darcey Monlau FTR at Silverstone and Aragon, and is due to race at Valencia as well. Under the rules, Sofuoglu will not be able to use the #54, as numbers are awarded for the entire season, though representatives of the Turk are in talks with IRTA about obtaining Sofuoglu's favorite number. MotoMatters.com has learned that a request has already been made to Coghlan to allow Sofuoglu to use the number, and that Coghlan was open to discuss the issue. With both Sofuoglu and Coghlan likely to enter into the Moto2 championship full time next season (Coghlan is in talks with Herve Poncharal's Tech 3 Moto2 team, and the Monlau squad is also looking at moving up to the world stage) this is a matter that will have to be settled before the season begins.
Below is the official press release from the Technomag-CIP team:
Kenan SOFUOGLU to join the TECHNOMAG-CIP team
Racing together with the TECHNOMAG-CIP team.
Kenan Sofuoglu, born on 25th of August 1984 in Turkey, two times world supersport champion in 2007 and 2010 will race alongside Dominique Aegerter for the two remaining moto2 races in Estoril and Valencia.
"I am very happy to join forces with the TECHNOMAG-CIP Team for the races in Estoril and Valencia. The team has proven this year that they are capable of delivering a race winning bike. I want to thank Alain for his confidence in me and look forward to work with the very experienced crew to achieve a seasons ending that honours Shoya."
"First of all, congratulations to Kenan for his second World Supersport championship title. I am happy to welcome him in our team. To compete in moto2 for the last two races is a real challenge. My team and Kenan are ready for it."
Dominique AEGERTER, Kenan SOFUOGLU and the TECHNOMAG-CIP team look forward to seeing you next October 31th, at the Estoril Grand Prix. .