Kenan Sofuoglu Signs For Technomag CIP Moto2 Squad For 2011
As we wrote yesterday in our Moto2 round-up story, the Moto2 silly season is in full swing, with so many rides up in the air and so many riders still chasing seats. One of the biggest logjams has been Kenan Sofuoglu, the 2010 World Supersport champion having been in demand with a large number of teams, especially after his astonishing debut at the rain-soaked round at Estoril last weekend.
But on Saturday, that logjam cleared, when it emerged that Kenan Sofuoglu had agreed to ride for the Technomag CIP team for the 2011 season. The signing came as something as a surprise, as Sofuoglu came close to signing a deal with the Gresini Moto2 squad to replace departing Moto2 champion Toni Elias, but the deal was called off at the last moment after Gresini came up with a list of additional demands. Sofuoglu's preference had been to ride a Moriwaki, which is why the Turk was talking to Gresini, but an intervention from Suter chassis maker Eskil Suter helped change Sofuoglu's mind. In the end, Sofuoglu elected to stay with the Technomag squad, who have welcomed him in as replacement to Shoya Tomizawa, who was tragically killed at Misano. The announcement was met with a round of applause in the Technomag garage as Sofuoglu entered this morning.
With Sofuoglu signed, a flurry of deals is now likely to be done. Gresini have been talking to Sofuoglu's former WSS teammate Michele Pirro, and are reportedly in talks with former MotoGP rider Mika Kallio. Meanwhile, Yuki Takahashi is looking like the favorite for the second Jack&Jones ride alongside Kenny Noyes, after having been the most likely candidate to take the Technomag ride if Sofuoglu had gone to Gresini. Sunday night - the night before the first Moto2 test of the 2011 season - will be a very busy night for the Moto2 teams, as they try and nail down deals with the available riders.