2013 Silverstone World Supersport Race: Close Race Leads To Controversial Last Lap

World Supersport at Silverstone was raced over sixteen laps under a grey sky with marshals keeping their rain flags handy.

Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu charged towards the white flags and Sofuoglu wasted no time in passing Lowes as the two left the rest of the field behind. Florian Marino led Christian Iddon, Kev Coghlan, Michael Van Der Mark and Riccardo Russo, fighting for third.

On the fourth lap, more white flags were shown, indicating rain, but the front two showed no signs of slowing down, with Sam Lowes setting the fastest lap during the race and the pair recording most of their laps faster than 2’10 from beginning to end.

Six laps in, Michael Van Der Mark rode into the back wheel of Florian Marino, destroying his front mudguard on Marino’s rear tyre, sending them both off the track. Both riders were able to get back on track and fight for points.

At the front, Lowes let Sofuoglu past for the lead, but as they raced on a straight section, Sofuoglu struggled with a tear-off on his visor and Lowes easily passed him. Riccardo Russo in third place lost the front and sent his bike into the gravel while Fabien Foret showed his late race pace and settled in fourth place behind Kev Coghlan as the laps started to run out.

Sam Lowes dropped half a second to avoid tagging the rear of Kenan Sofuoglu and took a couple of laps to recover the deficit. As Fabien Foret and Kev Coghlan started their fight, Sam Lowes closed up to Kenan Sofuoglu and the last lap started.

Sofuoglu led with Lowes in his shadow, twelve seconds clear of the fight for third. Sofuoglu rode defensively as Lowes probed to try and pass until he eventually found a way past on a tight pass on the inside of a right-hander that led to a left. As Sam Lowes swept into the left turn, he left a gap that he closed quickly only to find Kenan Sofuoglu in the space he was riding into. Sofuoglu prised Lowes’s bike off the tarmac and, unknown to the Kawasaki rider, causing Lowes to crash.

Lowes held onto the bike as rider and machine slid off the track and he was able to pick himself and the bike up and get it running again, not having let go of the clutch. Kenan Sofuoglu took the win while Sam Lowes was able to recover from the crash and finish a mere nine and a half seconds behind him, keeping his second place ahead of Fabien Foret who managed to pass and hold off Kev Coghlan for third place.

While Sofuoglu was unaware that he'd knocked Lowes off, he should have been aware Lowes couldn't see him on the inside. Sofuoglu’s actions on the last lap are added to his many controversial moves while Lowes was able to retain second place, and the lead in the championship, in spite of the crash.


1. Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'25.660
2. Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport) Yamaha YZF R6 34'35.161
3. Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'37.825
4. Kev Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'37.919
5. Christian Iddon (ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse) MV Agusta F3 675 34'38.151
6. Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGo MV Agusta Corse) MV Agusta F3 675 34'38.250
7. Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto) Honda CBR600RR 34'39.285
8. Florian Marino (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'40.669
9. Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) Honda CBR600RR 34'47.059
10. Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport) Yamaha YZF R6 34'47.481
11. Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport) Honda CBR600RR 34'49.124
12. Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini) Honda CBR600RR 34'53.234
13. Luca Scassa (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'53.300
14. Alex Baldolini (Suriano Racing Team) Suzuki GSX-R600 34'53.433
15. David Salom (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) Kawasaki ZX-6R 34'53.898
16. Mathew Scholtz (Suriano Racing Team) Suzuki GSX-R600 34'54.696
17. Glen Richards (Smiths Triumph) Triumph Daytona 675 34'54.868
18. Ronan Quarmby (Prorace) Honda CBR600RR 34'59.792
19. Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) Honda CBR600RR 35'08.846
20. Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) Honda CBR600RR 35'09.040
21. Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth) Honda CBR600RR 35'17.932
22. Billy McConnell (Smiths Triumph) Triumph Daytona 675 35'24.378
23. David Linortner (Team Honda PTR) Honda CBR600RR 35'25.842
24. Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing) Yamaha YZF R6 35'28.574
25. Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) Honda CBR600RR 35'42.039
26. Ivan Clementi (Team Goeleven) Kawasaki ZX-6R 35'42.307
27. Nacho Calero Perez (Honda PTR) Honda CBR600RR 35'42.407
28. Yves Polzer (Team MRC Austria) Honda CBR600RR 36'04.218
29. Alexey Ivanov (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini Team) Kawasaki ZX-6R 36'04.622
30. Mitchell Carr (AARK Racing) Honda CBR600RR 36'04.718
31. Eduard Blokhin (Rivamoto) Honda CBR600RR 36'13.187
RT. Massimo Roccoli (Team Pata by Martini) Yamaha YZF R6 31'08.877
RT. Riccardo Russo (Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) Kawasaki ZX-6R 22'42.771
RT. Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini) Honda CBR600RR 17'21.695
RT. Balazs Nemeth (Complus SMS Racing) Honda CBR600RR 11'40.852
RT. Alex Schacht (Racing Team Toth) Honda CBR600RR

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Hard racing. I do not care for Sofuoglu at all. But it was hard racing. Tough for me to tell if lowes was wide then tried to close the door or if Kenan just rammed it up the inside where there wasn't any room.

Sam gets full marks for holding the clutch and getting right back up.

I seen the move basically same as you. Looked more like Sam was desperate and risked way to much for a single place. Any Brit with a keyboard seems pissed at the moment but the same type of passes by Simoncelli, Marquez, and Tommy Hill get huge praise which is weird. I get it that Kenan doesn't have a Rossi type personality but judge the racing as it happens on track. Hoping we get some update on the protest filed by Yakhnich.

I hope that nothing is made of this from the protest. Kenan has done some really stupid and dangerous things in WSS and Moto2. This was just two guys giving nothing away. I agree that Sam risked a bit to much, but I'm glad he did. GREAT RACING!

It was Sofuoglu that was risking too much for a single place. Lowes passed absolutely cleanly, Kenan used Sam to slow down and make the corner. Watching that incident you could even see Kenan brace himself for the hit while he was behind diving into the corner. He may not have known Sam had fallen (but I don't believe that and neither does Sam judging by the shots of him eavesdropping on Kenan's parc ferme interview and his own interview) but he surely knew Sam was in the corner when he barreled in there smacking in to him.

I am all for close racing, hard racing but slamming into riders, using them as a brake or to make a turn that you otherwise would not make is not 'good close racing' rather it is reckless endangerment.

I guess we see things differently. There was space for Kenan to put his bike there and he went straight for the apex taking away Sam's line. And no it was Sam risking too much. He is the one leading the championship by a healthy margin and having only one race a weekend his lead would have been cut dramatically if he'd not been able to restart. The only way Kenan is gonna repeat as champion is for Sam to fall into these types of games and fall.

I saw Sam make a clean pass and retake the racing line. Kenan meanwhile saw his position taken and wanted to get back in the lead in his "style"...all or nothing. He did seem to brace for contact. In my view, there's no way Sam could have seen Kenan push his bike into the tiniest of spaces (there was space for him to put his bike in, nonetheless). Kenan also needed to realize it was Sam's home race and he was gonna risk a bit more. Glad he held onto the clutch and rode it home in 2nd.

Kenan needs to be showed some racing courtesy, sooner than later. There's risk taking and then there's endangerment. He's walking a very fine line, rather on the wrong side for now and needs to pull it together.

To me this was not a "typical" racing incident, rather a reckless move :(

As Nicky likes to say. We've all seen hard moves from Rossi, Marquez and many others but its a very fine line. If the rider you hit is knocked off that's taking it too far, and Kenan seems to have refined this type of move into an art, never being the one who comes off worst when there is contact and frequently putting his opponent on the deck. Just a complete lack of respect for his fellow racers.

From the camera angle that I saw, Kenan had made it into the corner cleanly and was not on the inside curb (and even if he was on the curb, after Laguna and Marquez, I think it would be pretty hard for FIM/Dorna to argue that the curb itself isn't part of the race track).

I don't think Sam expected Kenan to be there and turned into him - watch it again, if you can, and look at the direction the Kawasaki is pointing when Lowes hits him. Kenan is completely leaned over, has made his turn already, and has plenty of room to make the corner even if Lowes wasn't there - to say that Kenan used him to avoid running off the track is silly. They're halfway through the corner and Kenan has half a bike in front of Lowes before they make contact.

Not pretty. But hard to assign blame here.

What is also clear in this very technology-limited class is that these two are making the rest of the field look second-rate. It is also clear, at least to me, that two good riders battling for a title can create all the drama that I need.

I see many point out that Lowes did a clean pass, and while that is true he overshot that previous turn and because of that he overcompensated ever so slightly when comming accross. He was off race line and I bet that sofuoglu were mutch closer to the race line than lowes into that lefthander.
Still a hard pass but not worse than others seen this year. (Marquez)

World Superstock 1000, anyone see it? Barrier came from way back as he undertook La Marra's bike on the brakes. He seemed to touch La Marra's fairing as he passed him, he was so close, and then immediately swung sharp right, hitting La Marra's front wheel with his rear. On any other day La Marra would have been on the floor with a number of following bikes bearing down on him.

Yep, saw that too. Absolutely crazy pass. What ensued after that was amazing and scary. I haven't seen such angry riding from two riders in a while. I just knew that they both were going to go down. Thankfully neither did.

such as are possible at Silverstone, do not make it correct that one rider is granted dispensation to knock someone else off.
If the authorities let Sofu get away with it then the racers will exact their own compensation.
Lowes showed his class - a good very clean pass whilst on a slower bike at a point where Sofu was unlikely to be able to use his power advantage to get past again, and where such lines work just fine. It's a slow hairpin type corner, so he must have known that Lowes would go for the apex and he should have been prepared to give space if the probable happened. If he's quick-thinking enough to attempt a re-pass he should be thinking quickly enough to know what Lowes was going to do.
Like a number of his 'previous' Sofu reacted badly and over-aggressively (I had no problem with MM's move on JLo). It would have been OK if he hadn't knocked Lowes off - that's the big difference between 'rubbing' and 'barging'.
The fact that he denied knowing that he had knocked Lowes off was also questionable - he may have been looking up the track but that sort of contact should elicit a 'caring' glance back.......

" ... after the apex ..."?

If I've made it to the apex of the corner with half my bike in front of you and haven't touched you ... you lose. This still looks to me like Lowes turned in on a bike that had already taken his line.

It's funny to me, because this pass wasn't nearly as sketchy as some of the stuff we've seen this year. But this controversy isn't about this pass, but the reputations and public images of the riders involved.

I think I put that diplomatically.

There was no space, Sofuoglu simply ran into that corner too fast and that was the only reason he could get on the inside of Lowes. He was simply barging into his opponent, like we have seen him do many times before. It is made pretty clear by the spectator's footage linked above.
Saying Lowes was taking too much risk is like saying 'you should know that if you overtake Sofuoglu, you are asking for getting rammed off track, so don't do it'. Seems at least like intimidation to me.