2015 Portimão World Supersport Race Results: The Battle Continues

Both men having won here before, and the weather having dried up, the battle between Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu would continue unabated for 18 laps at the Algarve Circuit. Sofuoglu would be hunting a record-breaking fifth win in a row, while Cluzel would just be looking to get his title challenge back on track.

Jules Cluzel took the lead from pole position into turn one, joined by Kyle Smith and PJ Jacobsen who pushed Kenan Sofuoglu to fourth place. Jacobsen and Sofuoglu wasted no time in passing Kyle Smith and Jacobsen briefly led the race, but Cluzel took it back and at third race distance, Sofuoglu pushed into second place behind Cluzel and the scene was set.

Two thirds of the way through, Kenan Sofuoglu took the lead from Jules Cluzel the same lap Gino Rea took fourth from Kyle Smith with PJ Jacobsen seven seconds behind Cluzel but over a second clear of Rea in third place.

Sofuoglu would hold the lead, with Cluzel making a mistake over the brow of the hill, the light MV Agusta throwing the front wheel into a tank slapper as the suspension unloaded at the crest, but Cluzel recovered it and wasted no time making up for the small gap he gave Sofuoglu.

At the beginning of the penultimate lap, Cluzel tried to pass Sofuoglu on the straight but the Kawasaki rider was smart on the brakes and cemented the lead into turn one. The lap later, though, Cluzel timed his slipstreaming perfectly, slotting in behind Sofuoglu with the right amount of drive to pull out at the ideal moment to guarantee the lead into turn one. His braking was also well timed and he held the turn, but Sofuoglu wasn't done yet. Forcing past Cluzel, he took the lead back only to have Cluzel push past in a reciprocal move, no love lost between the rivals.

Cluzel held off Sofuoglu and maintained his lead right to the flag, finishing the race cleanly, less than two tenths from Sofuoglu. PJ Jacobsen completed his first full race distance on the Honda in third place, with his second podium of the year.

While Jules Cluzel did keep Kenan Sofuoglu from his fifth win in a row, he is now forty points behind the championship leader with only five races left. As long as Sofuoglu can keep getting second places, the title is still well within his grasp.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 16 J. CLUZEL MV Agusta F3 675   1'45.552 275,5
2 54 K. SOFUOGLU Kawasaki ZX-6R 0.184 1'45.411 276,9
3 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR600RR 7.597 1'45.791 274,1
4 4 G. REA Honda CBR600RR 8.369 1'46.133 272,7
5 87 L. ZANETTI MV Agusta F3 675 12.451 1'46.325 278,4
6 111 K. SMITH Honda CBR600RR 13.059 1'46.062 273,4
7 11 C. GAMARINO Kawasaki ZX-6R 19.976 1'46.531 274,1
8 44 R. ROLFO Honda CBR600RR 20.355 1'46.838 272,7
9 36 M. CARDENAS Honda CBR600RR 32.141 1'47.259 272,7
10 61 F. MENGHI Yamaha YZF R6 35.078 1'47.322 276,2
11 24 M. RAMIREZ Honda CBR600RR 35.089 1'47.413 271,4
12 5 M. FACCANI Kawasaki ZX-6R 35.295 1'47.306 275,5
13 68 G. SCOTT Honda CBR600RR 36.058 1'47.455 275,5
14 6 D. SCHMITTER Kawasaki ZX-6R 59.859 1'47.839 271,4
15 117 M. PRAIA Honda CBR600RR 1'02.567 1'48.704 271,4
16 10 N. CALERO Honda CBR600RR 1'18.363 1'49.579 269,3

 

Round Number: 
7
2015
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Comments

A great race and an epic duel. I don't have much respect for Sofuoglu as a person given some of his more questionable tricks on track, but as a rider he is up there with anyone on race day. No quarter asked and none given. Cluzel has matured into a top rider too, and he can really wring the best out of the MV.

Should have never been let out of Moto2. He needs to be back in the GP circus.

I'm very happy with Jules Cluzel providing excellent racing in the World Championhip Supersport on a beautiful looking and sounding MV Agusta, instead of being in a rather anonimous and bland field of bikes with identical CBR600RR engines, thank you.
His battles with Kenan Sofuoglu are increasingly something to look forward to. (And be a bit scared about, given the, well, 'unpredictable' antics of mr. Sofuoglu.)