Press releases from the organizers and teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Davies Can’t Be Beat at Jerez
- Unstoppable Ducati and the duelling Kawasakis -
Davies dominates the field in Jerez Race 2
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) won Race 2 at Jerez in a similar fashion to his victory on Saturday, while also taking out the overall Pirelli Best Lap Award. The Welshman won his fourth double of the season in southern Spain with almost six seconds separating him from fellow podium finishers and Kawasaki Racing Team duo Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
Davies had an incredible start storming straight through to fourth by the first corner, but it was Sykes who led with Rea close behind in second. By the end of the first lap, the Ducati rider had already shot to the front and began to build his lead.
The Kawasakis then battled it out for the remainder of the race together, with Rea trying to hunt down his second World Title. The lead swapped and changed between the Championship contenders but the reigning World Champion couldn’t shake off Sykes to take the crown, which he stll leads by 48 points.
By the end of the race, fourth-placed Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) had caught up to the KRT duo to fight it out for the podium, but he narrowly missed out as Sykes took third behind his teammate Rea in second. As a result, the 2016 Championship could not be won at the Gaerne Spanish Round and the Northern Irishman will need to wait until the last round at Qatar to be crowned Champion.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) had a solid ride in Race 2, improving from Saturday to come home in fifth ahead of Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark in sixth, who celebrated his 50th WorldSBK race start.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) finished in seventh ahead of Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) who was the first Spaniard home in eighth. Torres battled with fellow Spaniard Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) earlier on in the race to break into the top ten. Unfortunately for Fores, his race ended early after technical issues forced him to retire.
Anthony West (Pedercini Racing) ended Sunday in ninth while Lorenzo Savadori (Ioda Racing Team) rounded out the top ten. Roman Ramos (Team GOELEVEN) came home in P11 with Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) crossing the line in P12. Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finished in P13, which was a solid effort considering he struggled with his recovering shoulder throughout the weekend. Althea BMW Racing Team’s Markus Reiterberger finished in P14 with Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team) picking up a point in P15.
The 2016 MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship will now be decided in the final round of the season at Qatar on the 28th to the 30th of October and it's Jonathan Rea who leads the way.
Quotes from the top three riders:
C.Davies (DUCATI): “Since the summer break we have been flying and this is the result. Five out of six wins now, so hats off to the crew because it is thanks to them that we are now in this position, they never stopped working or rested on their laurels. They keep chipping away in Bologna so thanks to them, thanks to Aruba and thank you to Ducati.”
J.Rea (KAWASAKI): “We have to play the long game. I haven’t felt so good at this circuit honestly. So to be two times on the podium is quite good. The gap to Chaz and Ducati is a bit worrying right now. But we can move on to Qatar, which is a track I really enjoy. Last year I had one good race there so we will see. I’m very relaxed now though, because even with the form of Chaz right now and with 48 points I think we can go to Qatar in a relaxed mood and look to pick up the target there.”
T.Sykes (KAWASAKI): “40 points or 48 points that was finally the difference and we are clutching at straws. The problem is that has allowed Chaz to close up even more and he is in great form. We need to find a better bike, a better set up and hopefully something that can allow me to be aggressive from start to finish like Chaz, because at the moment I feel like I am playing with myself during the race, so really disappointed. Overall third is the best we could manage today and that’s racing. We’ve got to move on from this and get stronger.”
#JerezWorldSBK Race 2:
C.Davies Aruba.it Ducati- Racing
J.Rea Kawasaki Racing Team (+5.893)
T.Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team (+6.030)
British dominate the podium in Spain
Championship standings after Race 2 Round 12
J.Rea Kawasaki Racing Team (462 points)
T.Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team (414 points)
C.Davies Aruba.it Racing- Ducati (395 points)
Chaz Davies does the double again at Jerez, Davide Giugliano finishes Race 2 in 13th position
After taking the top step of podium in Race 1, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team did the double in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) with Chaz Davies. The Welshman rider thus seized his fourth win in a row and ninth of the season – tied with championship leader Rea – to maintain the momentum that saw him win five out of six races after the summer break.
Thanks to a blistering start from sixth position on the grid, Davies entered turn 1 in second place and soon after took the lead and adopted the same strategy as in Race 1, progressively building a gap with an unequaled pace. To underscore his masterful performance, he also set the fastest lap with a 1:41.492.
Davide Giugliano, on the other hand, faced an uphill race as he was forced to play defense due to the less than optimal conditions of his injured right shoulder. The Italian rider, after losing positions in the early phases, did not give up despite the pain and some grip issues to finish in 13th position.
After twelve rounds, Davies and Giugliano are respectively third (395 points) and sixth (197 points) in the general standings. The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will be back in action under floodlights in Losail for the final round of the season, scheduled for October 28-30.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) 1st
“To win four races in a row is just unreal. Lately I’ve been very confident and able to push 100 percent every lap, just dancing on the bike. Also, I managed to get the best start of the year and entered turn 1 just behind Sykes. I think he was trying to save his tyres, so I took the opportunity because I knew we could run our pace for the whole race. Today, the key was to manage the grip. I was a little mindful at the start, because the hotter conditions made the track more slippery, but in the end I could see the gap building and then it was just a case of bringing it home. Without getting overconfident, we’ll try to make it sixth in a row to get second position in the championship.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) 13th
“It’s a pity, but we had another difficult race. This morning we found a competitive setup, but the track temperatures during the race were almost twice as high and we lost grip. To make things worse, the right-shoulder injury forced us to drop the pace after a few laps. It was still important to make it to the finish line to score points and gather data. We’ll try some more things in tomorrow’s tests and then I’ll continue the physio treatment to go to Qatar in better shape and make the most of our potential.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal
“Given the results achieved in this second half of the season, in which we’ve been fighting at the top constantly, one can say we reached the competitiveness we aimed for. However, we’ll try to make further improvements to finish the season on a high note with both riders and work with the maximum concentration possible during the winter break to make sure we start 2017 in this kind of form.”
Final Round Showdown Coming For Rea And Sykes After Jerez Podiums
Jonathan Rea finished second and Tom Sykes third in the second 20-lap FIM Superbike World Championship Race at Jerez, meaning that one of the two official Kawasaki Racing Team riders will definitely be crowned champion at the final round in Qatar in two week’s time. Which one will be champion is still to be determined, however, after their strong combined Jerez podium performances.
Having guaranteed the Manufacturers’ Championship for Kawasaki on Saturday, when Sykes was second and Rea third, both official KRT riders aimed to try and overcome Chaz Davies on Sunday, to overturn his race one success. Davies was to win his second race of the weekend all the same but this time around Rea finished ahead of Sykes on the podium, in second place.
The second Jerez race was held in marginally warmer conditions than the first race on Saturday and with some set-up and tyre choice changes on board the KRT riders pushed hard to maintain their championship challenges. Rea passed Sykes at half race distance and from then on they ran together, finally crossing the line only 0.137 seconds from each other.
Rea drew himself 48 points ahead of his team-mate today with only one round and two races left to run. That margin was just two points short of guaranteeing Rea the Riders’ Championship at the Spanish round but he goes into the Losail race weekend as hot favourite, with only 50 points available for Sykes if he wins both races.
Jonathan now only has to score two points or more to win his second consecutive Riders’ Championship with KRT. Only he or his fellow Ninja ZX-10R rider Tom can now win the championship itself, as Davies will be unable to score enough points in the races that remain to get ahead of Rea. Tom has an arithmetical chance of winning the title but also has to ensure he finishes second overall, if the goal of taking the championship proves impossible.
The last of 13 rounds of WorldSBK racing will be held at the Losail circuit in Qatar, between 28th and 30th October.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “I am satisfied with the championship gap. We can go to Qatar in a relaxed mood and look to pick up the target there. To date we have had nine race wins and done a very good job. I struggled with traction front and rear today and Jerez is a low grip track. As soon as the grip went off I was starting to struggle a lot, although not like yesterday. We changed a lot on the bike for Sunday, including the engine character. I had confidence with my team that it was in the right direction and I think we made one step forward. The temperature was up today so it was quite a different race, and slower at the end.”
Tom Sykes, stated: “Third is the best we could manage today but that is racing. It was a good race and a good fight over the distance but I just came out third best today. I was very close to Jonathan at the end but just not enough. I could have so easily tucked the front in some areas but we saw it through to a podium finish. We will move on from this and try to be stronger. We have a 48-point deficit and we need to find a better set-up in Qatar to allow me to be aggressive from start to finish. I feel I am not able to do what I need to do right now. I do not want to lose second in the championship if we can help it. We have an important test tomorrow and utilise this in the best way.”
Behind the official KRT Riders Anthony West (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) secured a strong ninth place and at his home round Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 11th. Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) scored a point for 15th. Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Kawasaki) placed 18th but Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) slid off on lap nine. In the championship Ramos is 15th with 85 points and West 17th with 64.
Another strong performance for the Honda WorldSBK Team in race two at Jerez
Round 12 – Spain
Circuito de Jerez, Spain
Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark have completed the Spanish Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship with another strong performance, as the two Honda WorldSBK riders were fourth and sixth, respectively, at the end of race two at ‘Circuito de Jerez’ today.
Hayden got a good launch from fifth place on the grid and immediately showed some aggressiveness on track, which helped him moving up to fourth place at turn five during the opening lap of the encounter. The competitive rhythm shown in the early stages of the race helped the ‘Kentucky Kid’ consolidate his position, although as the laps went by he seemed unable to stay in contention for a rostrum finish.
The 35-year-old American kept pushing as hard as he could on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine and – with three laps to go – he had narrowed down to half a second his gap to third place. Nicky kept riding at the limit up to the chequered flag, although he could not get close enough to make a final move on Sykes.
Michael van der Mark maintained his position after the start and, after taking a bit of time to get past some of his rivals, by lap ten he joined Lowes and Guintoli in the battle for fifth place. After elevating himself up to sixth, he tried all he could not to lose touch with his former team mate and – with a really quick final lap of the encounter – he crossed the line 0.5s away from fifth place.
With only the two Qatari races left in the season, van der Mark is still fourth in the championship standings, 23 points ahead of Hayden in fifth.
Nicky Hayden 69
It wasn’t an easy race, especially in the beginning, because the guys ahead were just too fast for me. Chaz got to the front quicker today and during the first laps, with new tyres, I just couldn’t run at their pace. On used tyres my bike was working really well, so I was able to chip away at them and bring that gap back, but it was a little too late. On the last lap I just wasn’t close enough to put a wheel in anywhere. The team did a great job this weekend because the bike worked really well around here; I’m just a little frustrated that I wasn’t able to be faster in the beginning to go with them. Also, at the end of the race, if you want a podium you need to step up and make something happen, but today I just couldn’t do it. Two fourth places are not the end of the world, but certainly a couple of podiums would have been nicer.
Michael van der Mark 60
I’m quite disappointed with today, to be honest. This morning we tried something with the bike that I was sure could have helped us during the race, although during warm up it didn’t look like that. I got a great start to the race but unfortunately I had a small electronic issue that cost me many places. My pace during the race was not exhilarating but not too bad either and, in the end, I was almost as fast as the podium guys and I could even see them in the distance. I’m surely not happy, because I know I could have been much closer to the podium, but now we need to know what happened and get ready for the last round.
It was a good day for us. We made a few changes in the morning, but nothing major. We decided to go with different tyres with Nicky, both at the front and rear, and in the second part of the race it worked really well for him. Unfortunately, this tyre combination did not allow him to stay with the leaders at the beginning, but towards the end he was on the rear wheel of the Kawasaki ahead so really close to a podium position. Overall, he rode really well and did a great job. Michael’s bike had a bit of a hiccup at the start that lasted only a short while, but that was enough to cost him several places. He rode very well and was able to recover some of them again, up to the point when he got really close to fifth. Sixth place is not too bad, considering the small issue he had at the start, so all in all we’re happy with our performance this weekend and we are looking forward to the last round in Qatar.
Fifth for Guintoli and Podium for Tuuli as WorldSBK Bids Farewell to Europe
Sylvain Guintoli concluded the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship's final race at the Circuito de Jerez in fifth position this afternoon with a confident ride on his YZF-R1. Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK teammate Alex Lowes also showed fighting form to take seventh.
A strong start from Guintoli instantly saw the Frenchman jump two positions off the lights before quickly securing another as the opening lap got underway. Crossing the line in sixth, narrowly behind his teammate, he ran with consistent pace as he maintained position before making his move on lap 10 to enter the top five. Improving his stride as the race progressed, Guintoli came close to bridging the gap to the riders in front, consolidating his fifth position at the flag to collect 11 points and bringing his championship total to just four behind his fellow Pata Yamaha challenger.
Launching from the line as the weekend's second race began, Lowes immediately found himself in sixth position and fighting hard with Giugliano for fifth. Making the move on the Italian just two corners in, the British rider held strongly in the top five for the opening laps before a small technical issue began to affect his performance. As the afternoon's rising temperatures peaked at 37°C, Lowes managed the situation with his YZF-R1 to the best of his ability but was unable to match his previous pace, his teammate taking advantage at mid-race distance. Continuing the fight as the race developed, Lowes unfortunately lost out again as van der Mark made a late charge, crossing the line in a solid seventh.
Niki Tulli began his FIM Supersport World Championship battle by immediately aiming for the leading pair as the lights went out, running closely behind in third from the first corner. Quickly taking second on his YZF-R6 from the championship leader on lap two he was promoted to the front at the start of lap three as Krummenacher fell at turn one. Scuffles for position ensued, with the young Finn maintaining his hold for the majority of the race before Sofuoglu took charge on lap 14. Holding off the competition from behind, Tuuli claimed his third podium in as many races with a consecutive second position, alongside the fastest lap of race - a 1'44.355 on his third revolution.
Guintoli and Lowes will remain in Jerez for tomorrow's official championship test before the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team prepares to travel to Qatar's Losail International Circuit for the concluding races of 2016, in two weeks' time.
Race: 5th / +10.762 / 20 laps. Championship: 12th / 112 points
"It was an interesting day as we tried a completely different setting this morning - that didn't go well but at least we knew what not to do! We went the other way for race two which was an improvement from yesterday and allowed us to start a bit faster. The pace in the second half was also very good, catching up with the front group. Unfortunately at the end I ran out of front grip as I was pushing very hard and nearly crashed many times. Overall it has been positive as we finished closer than we have recently, the pace was good and more than everything I have enjoyed myself riding the YZF-R1 today. I felt really on the limit with the machine and to find that rhythm again is really important for me, so a good day for us!"
Race: 7th / +16.413 / 20 laps. Championship: 11th / 116 points
"I'm quite disappointed overall with the race because I think the YZF-R1 had really good pace, especially when the temperatures came up. I think we had a good chance, not necessarily at the podium, but a chance to be a lot closer to the fight. I felt quite good and got a decent start, it's always how it falls on the first couple of corners, but the first three or four laps I felt quite good and then I had a small problem that was preventing me from shifting correctly. I lost my concentration for a bit and was struggling to shift, but rather than retire the bike I chose to ride as well as I could in the situation. The team have worked well all weekend, it was a shame about my mistake yesterday in the first race, and like I said I think the R1 had really good pace and was probably the most competitive it has been all year, so even though we have a seventh place I still feel really disappointed overall."
Paul Denning Team Principal
"A positive race for the team and for the YZF-R1 here in Jerez today and yet it could have been even better. Sylvain is now back to full fitness and it is starting to show in his confidence and in his consistency over race distance. Despite starting ninth on the grid he forced his way forwards and rode an impressive and accurate race, finishing only four seconds off the podium and closer on lap 20 to second place than we were at the end of lap five. This is a positive indication that the overall performance is going in the right direction.
"For Alex the race was also very solid on paper, with a strong performance shown in the opening laps, but unfortunately he was held back from the third lap with a small technical issue. Alex's execution over race distance showed great commitment, which, as ever, we thank him for but we know given the circumstances it could have been a lot better.
"The 2017 season begins tomorrow with a full day's test and today's potential is a good base to start from."
De Rosa and the Althea BMW team secure the Superstock 1000 title at Jerez!
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), Sunday 16 October 2016
The Althea BMW Racing team and rider Raffaele De Rosa triumphed today at the Spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, closing the race in fifth position to secure the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup with their BMW S 1000 RR! This is a first title win for the Neapolitan rider, and the second Stock title for the Italian team after that scored in 2011. In the SBK race, Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger concluded in eighth and fourteenth place respectively.
Superstock 1000 – Race – the race got underway in very unexpected circumstances after Mercado, De Rosa’s only real rival for the title, suffered a technical problem on the sighting lap which prevented him from participating in this all-important race. From third on the grid, De Rosa was aware that he needed to complete the race and score at least eight points in order to secure the title. Having made a good start, he was lying seventh before moving up to sixth on lap five. Not wanting to take any unnecessary risks, Raffaele managed the race well, maintaining sixth position until the final corner when he moved into fifth and crossed the finish line as the new Superstock 1000 FIM Cup champion! This is the first title win for the Italian, who concludes the season with 115 points to Mercado’s 111.
Superbike - Race 2 – from seventh, Torres lost a little ground at the start and was lying ninth behind VD Mark and Forés. He was able to pass his fellow countryman on lap seven to move into eighth. The Spaniard then ran a solitary second half of the race, separated from both those immediately ahead and those chasing him by several seconds, crossing the line in final eighth position.
For Reiterberger it proved to be a similar race to that of yesterday. Having gained ground at the start, he was oscillating between tenth and eleventh place up until the mid-race point, after which the German gradually fell back, concluding the race fourteenth.
With only one round left to run, Jordi Torres continues to hold seventh place with 195 points, Reiterberger lies 16th with 81 points. BMW is fourth in the manufacturer's classification with 216 points, while Althea BMW also lies fourth in the team rankings (281 points).
“I dedicate this title to my family - who have always supported me even through the difficult times - and to the team, with whom I’ve worked for two years now and I am so grateful for all their help. To be honest, the race wasn’t easy. I’m sorry about what happened to Tati. When I saw he was out, it kind of unnerved me a little, it was so unexpected and I had to change my race strategy as a result. I definitely lapped a little slower than usual, but I was tense and not wanting to make any mistakes of course. I’ve been working towards this for several years and so am extremely happy that the result has arrived after all our efforts…”
“We changed the front tyre for today’s race, hoping for better durability, but there will still a drop in performance. We did however lap with more consistent lap times compared to yesterday, but the result was very similar in the end. Despite the final outcome, I can be pleased with the fact that I gave it my all, I was more aggressive and I didn’t make any mistakes. Tomorrow we’ll make the most of the test session and use it to try and find some good solutions.”
“Today’s race was not a good one. I felt OK through the first two laps and had good pace but then I had some problems after passing Giugliano, my sensations with the bike changed and I had difficulties with the front tyre, which almost caused me to crash on more than one occasion. I made a mistake as a result, losing some time, and I am of course very disappointed with fourteenth place. The team is working so hard and I’m sorry the results are not better than they are. I hope we can find something during tomorrow’s tests.”
“Today is an historic day for us, both for the team and for BMW as we’ve both been working towards this result for several years. I’m extremely happy for the team, as they have done a great job together with Raffaele and the German technicians. This is a fitting reward for the work carried out by both the team and the manufacturer. We still have a few problems to resolve in Superbike, and we need to work to find that level of performance that I know is within reach. It was not a good race for us overall today and I hope we can bounce back already in Qatar. We are optimistic as we look to the future though, having put in place an important work schedule with BMW in terms of development. Once again, my compliments go to De Rosa and the entire team for their fantastic work.”
Jerez Round, Savadori scores a top ten,
De Angelis crashes at lap 4
Jerez de la Frontera, 16 October 2016 - The second round of the Round of Jerez de la Frontera, penultimate round of the 2016 Superbike season, saw Iodaracing riders Alex De Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori having mixed success.
After the top ten grazed in Race 1, Alex De Angelis started extremely motivated, but a slip at the beginning of the fourth lap of the race deprived the satisfaction of struggle to achieve his goal. The San Marino rider lost the front of his bike at the entrance of Turn 1 of the Jerez circuit and is then returned to the pits unable to continue his run.
Different fate for Lorenzo Salvadori, who, after a not perfect start, found the pace to climb from seventeenth position recorded at the end of the first lap. Salvadori has managed to constantly improve his times in the race, going to conquer the nineteenth top ten of the season for the Team Iodaracing thanks to his tenth place finish in Race 2.
At the end of the Round of Jerez, the Iodaracing riders, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis occupy in the world rankings respectively ninth place with 140 points and the thirteenth with 93 points.
LORENZO SAVADORI # 32 - JEREZ ROUND - RACE 2 - 10th - "I cannot say I'm 100% happy with this tenth place, but this result is certainly a small step ahead of the race yesterday. I very much engaged in this race and I think more than that we would not be able to do. The end result is positive, but we must build on all that has happened this weekend to further improve our performance. I thank Aprilia and Iodaracing for the work of these days ".
ALEX DE ANGELIS #15 - JEREZ ROUND - RACE 2 - DNF - "My race duration has very little time indeed, I hit a bump and the fork went to buffer and I ended steering. Unlike yesterday I was much better party and I could stay in the unit. Surely we were able to solve some problem with the bike between yesterday and today, shame really. I do not know what would eventually be my position if I had not fallen, certainly I would have been in the top ten. "
Race Two report - 2016 World Superbikes Round 12
Jerez, Sunday 16th October 2016
Race 2 at Circuito de Jerez was held in demanding conditions as the World Superbike grid lined up under the sweltering Spanish sun. Starting from 17th, Milwaukee BMW rider Josh Brookes fought through the pack to finish 12th, and secure another solid points finish for the British team in their debut year.
With the championship nearing its end in Qatar later this month, the team will be looking to cap their challenging-but-consistent 2016 season with another strong showing.
RACE FINISH: 12th
“My race was more difficult than Race One. I had an issue with rear grip straight away and I was concerned about losing places, but I was able to find a rhythm that kept me in touch with the group ahead.
It was frustrating at times to see the guys in front of me and not be part of the race. About halfway I developed some front end grip problems, and I just had to make sure I brought the bike home safely.
It was another points finish which is always good, but I am disappointed it wasn’t better. I’m looking forward to racing under lights in Qatar which should give some good atmosphere, and I just have to ride my hardest there to make sure I finish the season on a positive note.”
Mick Shanley, Team Coordinator
“Josh struggled with the tyres with the track being so hot, and it was tough to manage a strong pace throughout.
That said, he was able to maintain his position and secure another points finish. Having only one rider this weekend it’s good to get a bike over the line and in the points.
The European stint of the season is over now, and we’re busy preparing for the final round in Qatar. It’s a new track for us, but we will give our best efforts to ensure we have a strong and positive end to the 2016 season.”
2016 FIM Supersport World Champion
- The Turkish rider rewrites the history books to win his fifth world title -
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was already the most successful rider to have ever competed in the Supersport World Championship, but today he proved again why he is the best; setting the bar even higher by rewriting his own record today, the Turkish rider won his fifth World Supersport Championship at the Circuito de Jerez. Only his rookie teammate and main rival Randy Krummenacher could have prolonged the inevitable from happening today, but after the Swiss rider crashed out of the race on lap 5, Sofuoglu only needed to finish the race to seal the deal. But in typical style, simply finishing wasn’t enough. Sofuoglu beat all his challengers to win at Gaerne Spanish Round and was crowned Champion once again.
Born in the Turkish town of Akyazi (whose postcode is 54 and the number with which Sofuoglu has always raced), he began his professional career in 2003, missing out on the IDM Supersport title by just ten points. That same year he also made his debut in the World Supersport Championship, competing at the rounds in Valencia,Oschersleben and Magny-Cours.
His first two titles came with Hannspree Ten Kate Honda in 2007 and 2010 respectively. He achieved the crown again in 2012, that time with Lorenzini Kawasaki. During this phase, Sofuoglu also competed in the Moto2 World Championship in 2010 and 2011. In the second of the two years, he finished on the podium at Assen, beaten only by future MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez.
Sofuoglu’s title defence story of 2016 got off to a rocky start, after he crashed out of the first race at Phillip Island to walk away with zero points, while Krummenacher cemented his position as the Turk’s most dangerous rival. The Swiss led the overall standings for the first four rounds, but lost his advantage in Imola, where Sofuoglu scored his second victory of the year following his first win in Aragon. His road to triumph seemed set from then, adding another three consecutive victories to his name at Donington, Misano and then at Lausitzring after the summer break.
Marvelous moments of 2016...
Rather than slowing down during the summer break, Sofuoglu only sped up! The Turkish national idol used the break to attempt to beat the World Land Speed Record on a motorcycle. He achieved this milestone riding a Kawasaki Ninja H2R, reaching 400 km/h on the new Osmangazi Bridge built near Istanbul.
Aside from winning championships and breaking world records, Kenan Sofuoglu has a philanthropical side too. The 32-year-old is very involved in helping nurture young Turkish talent to help catapult their careers in different World Championships. Toprak Razgatlioglu is a stellar example of Sofuoglu’s talent project, with the young rider also racing for Kawasaki Puccetti Racing in the STK1000 category.
A Champion never stops: breaking the Land Speed Record
Inspiring the younger generation of Turkey
Sofuoglu’s first chance at sealing the 2016 WorldSSP Championship came two weeks ago at Magny-Cours. He was blisteringly fast all weekend and everything seemed set for the champion to celebrate for a fifth time, but an uncharacteristic fall with eight laps to go only prolonged what has happened today. Incredibly, this season has seen Sofuoglu Incredibly, this season has seen Sofuoglu take 38 race victories and 77 podiums. He is the only rider this season to have won more than one race and has secured his remarkable fifth Supersport World Championship, still with a round to go. Kenan Sofuoglu’s grit and determination demonstrate the true qualities of a champion who is always striving for more. He has an all or nothing attitude, which is evident in his riding style and never gives up until he reaches victory- a quality seen time and time again throughout this magical 2016 season.
2017 will see the Champion compete in World Supersport once again with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing as he attempts to trump his own achievement and defend his title again.
WorldSSP Race Gaerne Spanish Round:
N.Tuuli Yamaha (+2.728)
K.Smith Honda (+3.398)
Championship Standings after the Gaerne Spanish Round:
Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing (196 points)
Randy Krummenacher Kawasaki Puccetti Racing (129 points)
Jules Cluzel MV Agusta Reparto Corse (126 points)
Sofuoglu And Kawasaki Take Championship Wins At Jerez
The main prizes in the WorldSSP championship were awarded at the penultimate round in Jerez when Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) secured the Riders’ Championship and Kawasaki took the Manufacturers’ trophy. In the ESS category, which races within the WorldSSP rounds in Europe, Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) became the inaugural champion after scoring a fifth place in the combined results today.
This was the fifth Supersport World Championship win for all-time class great Sofuoglu, three of which have been achieved on Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R machinery. He has now scored 38 career wins, as part of 77 podiums in all.
Kenan had wanted to win the championship at the previous round in France by winning the race. He fell from the lead in that contest but got his wish of securing the championship via his race win today, from Niki Tuuli and Kyle Smith who were second and third on the podium respectively.
Kawasaki also made sure of the Manufacturers’ Championship after Sofuoglu took his sixth win of the season, the Japanese producer ending the day with an unassailable 48-point lead with one round remaining.
Despite crashing while leading on lap five, as he attempted to get away from the chasing Tuuli and Sofuoglu, Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) got going again to try and fight all the way to the end.
Randy was forced to retire shortly afterwards but he is still second in the championship, three points ahead of the next closest rider.
Bassani’s race today saw him lead the chasing pack, some way behind the top four, when it mattered, scoring 11 points and eventually ending his year with a 16 point advantage over his nearest competitor. The first four riders home in the ESS championship all rode Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R machines.
The last round of the regular championship will take place in Losail, Qatar, on Sunday 30 October.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “I am so proud to have won my fifth championship and I have to say a special thanks to Kawasaki. Some years ago they gave me a good package and good support and since that time I have enjoyed racing a lot more. Then I found the Puccetti Racing team two years ago and this is my second title with them in succession. To do that is incredible and we have won many races. At the beginning of this year I did not know what would happen but we won the championship one race early. Racing is not difficult but fighting for championships is difficult. Today, when I saw that Randy had crashed I thought that because I was already champion, I could go on to try and win the race. It was my dream to do that at Magny Cours but I achieved it here. Luck was with me today and together with our good potential and good performance, we won the title again.”
Randy Krummenacher, stated: “I felt very strong in the race and felt a step stronger than those around me. When I got in front I thought if I pushed a little bit more, not too much, then things would be easier today. I was excited, maybe a bit too much, because I lost the front very quick and it was a bit of a surprise. I want to look forward and do well in Qatar. The bike feels good and I cannot wait until the final round. I want to say thanks to Kawasaki and well done for the Manufacturers’ Championship. Congratulations today to Kenan. He did a great job and he really deserves to be champion.”
Steve Guttridge, Kawasaki Europe Racing Manager, stated: “Kenan winning yet another Supersport title for Kawasaki within the fantastic Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team is a dream come true. He's had some very tough times but always he is a true professional, with unrivalled determination to achieve the goal. So a big congratulations from Kawasaki goes to both Kenan and his team again this season."
Shigemi Tanaka, Kawasaki Europe: “It is very important and valuable for us at KHI that Kawasaki accomplished the same feat as last season, taking Manufacturer titles in both WorldSBK and WorldSSP championships and highlighting the excellence of Kawasaki Heavy Industries products because WorldSBK and WorldSSP bikes are both based on production bikes.”
Axel Bassani, stated: “It was great to win this championship because it was not easy at the start and I had to fight to become better and better. At the end of the season, at Magny Cours and here, I got close to the top and the regular riders and I am happy about that. I destroyed a bike in a crash yesterday and the team had to rebuild a bike for me, so I am happy to take this result and the championship win. Many thanks to all involved.”
Behind the front-runners Illia Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) was seventh today and his fellow ESS rider Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki) 11th. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was the last Kawasaki rider to score a point, in 15th place. Christian Gamarino (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) was 16th and Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) 18th.
Jacobsen only one tenth of a second away from podium at Jerez
Round 11 – Spain
Circuito de Jerez, Spain
PJ Jacobsen (Honda WorldSSP Team) has finished one tenth of a second away from a podium finish in today’s FIM Supersport World Championship race at ‘Circuito de Jerez’. The 23-year-old from Montgomery, New York, crossed the line fourth behind fellow Honda rider Kyle Smith at the end of a solid 19-lap encounter around the 4.423 km fast-flowing Spanish venue.
Jacobsen got a good launch off the third row of the grid, making up two places as the WorldSSP field attacked the first turns of the race. After Krummenacher crashed out of the lead on lap five, Jacobsen was promoted to fourth and, together with Smith, he was able to bridge the gap to the front. When the Briton had a moment in front of him, the two lost touch with the leading duo but kept the battle alive for third.
The young American closed in on his rival during the last lap, although not enough to try one last move for the third step of the podium. With one race left in the season, which will be contested at the Losail International Circuit in a fortnight’s time, Jacobsen is still fourth in the standings but now only seven points away from the runner up spot.
Patrick Jacobsen 2
Today was OK, and a lot more positive compared to how things went prior to the race. Still, I’m not entirely happy because I struggled to find enough grip, so I could not ride the bike like I wanted. I wasn’t able to make up more places and in the end, I simply couldn’t make a pass to get me on the podium. Nevertheless, I’m happy with our championship position: we closed in on Krummenacher and Cluzel so we’re within a shot of the runner up spot in the title race. In Qatar we’ll give it all to try and make it happen, so I can’t wait to get back on track.
We tried new things this morning and after the warm up we had a long debrief with PJ to make sure we were ready for the race. Things got better, but we decided to make a further adjustment to the set-up in order to find more grip. PJ got a reasonably good start and he quickly made his way up to fourth place, but he kind of went back and forth with Kyle Smith for most of the race and in the end it was just not enough to take third. Considering how things went in the first two days, this is definitely not a bad result. Moreover, we are only four and seven points away from second and third places, respectively, so the battle for the runner-up spot is not over yet.