2017 Qatar World Supersport Race Results: A Championship Decided

The World Supersport championship came down to the last race, with Kenan Sofuoglu keeping it alive in spite of breaking his hip five weeks previously. Lucas Mahias led the fight by twenty points going into the last round.

Lucas Mahias started from pole position but it was a fellow Yamaha rider Niki Tuuli who led into the first corner, pushing Mahias a little wide and very nearly opening the championship up in an unfortunate way. Jules Cluzel was behind the two wheel Kenan Sofuoglu fell back three places to seventh and out of the leading pack.

After the first lap, Jules Cluzel blasted past Lucas Mahias to take second place from him and by turn fifteen, Cluzel had taken the lead from Niki Tuuli. The Honda led four Yamahas as Federico Caricasulo and Sheridan Morais joined in the fight ahead of PJ Jacobsen, Kyle Smith, Gino Rea and Kenan Sofuoglu.

Lap three started with four bikes side-by-side, Lucas Mahias coming out in front, ahead of Niki Tuuli and Jules Cluzel. A lap later, Mahias looked like he was easing away while Anthony West set the fastest lap outside the top ten, but a lap later, Jules Cluzel went a bit quicker in third place.

By the seventh lap, Lucas Mahias, Federico Caricasulo and Jules Cluzel got away at the front, dropping Niki Tuuli and Sheridan Morais from the front while Kenan Sofuoglu struggled with Kyle Smith and PJ Jacobsen, pushing hard and closing the gap to the riders in front, in spite of missing the apex into the first turn.

Jules Cluzel started to look like he was not content in third but while he could close up the gap to Federico Caricasulo into the the first turn, he couldn't pass him until the end of the lap when Caricasulo went a little wide into a corner and CLuzel just forced his way into the gap to take second place from him.

On lap nine, Kenan Sofuoglu passed Niki Tuuli, having left from the third group to the second and set his sites on Sheridan Morais. Morais carried a little too much speed into turn ten, going a little too wide, and Sofuoglu pushed his Kawasaki into the gap and took fourth place. With two seconds to the leading three, Sofuoglu would have his work cut out to close for a podium chance. Mahias would need to not finish and Sofuoglu would need second place to get his third title in a row.

Lap eleven, Sofuoglu set the lap record. Lap twelve, he broke it again. Lap thirteen, he was within seven tenths of a second of Federico Caricasulo and the podium. As the win looked like it was between the two Frenchmen at the front, the podium was no longer decided.

Lucas Mahias's pitboard read "P1 G3 +0.4 SOF4" and he had only Jules Cluzel to contend with as the fight for third was a couple of seconds back, and it was a fight. Sofuoglu taking and losing third place, going wide into turn one on the last lap.

Jules Cluzel tried a few passes on Lucas Mahias, but none of them worked until the exit of the last corner where Cluzel was in a position to get alongside Mahias in the charge to the line, but he ran out of track and kicked up some sand as he missed the tarmac and lost the victory by a fraction of a second. Lucas Mahias won the race and the championship. Kenan Sofuoglu did manage to reel in and pass Federico Caricasulo and, even though he couldn't get a title, he did get a podium from nothing, snatching third place from Caricasulo.

In the slow-down lap, the newly crowned world champion stopped and gave a limping outgoing champion a hug before donning a pink feather boa lined helmet and getting a gold number one in front of the forty-four on the front of his Yamaha.

As Mahias rode through the crowd in the new paddock layout, some gentle throttle and clutch control turned his smooth ride into a perfect rolling burnout, spewing tyre smoke as he arrived in parc fermé.

Another World Supersport champion joins the pantheon.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 144 L. MAHIAS Yamaha YZF R6  
2 16 J. CLUZEL Honda CBR600RR 0.023
3 1 K. SOFUOGLU Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.788
4 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R6 3.845
5 13 A. WEST Kawasaki ZX-6R 7.946
6 66 N. TUULI Yamaha YZF R6 8.112
7 32 S. MORAIS Yamaha YZF R6 8.336
8 81 L. STAPLEFORD Triumph Daytona 675 10.435
9 4 G. REA Kawasaki ZX-6R 10.551
10 111 K. SMITH Honda CBR600RR 13.349
11 87 L. ZANETTI MV Agusta F3 675 16.215
12 11 C. GAMARINO Honda CBR600RR 25.611
13 25 A. BALDOLINI Yamaha YZF R6 26.801
14 69 X. CARDELUS Yamaha YZF R6 30.242
15 35 S. HILL Triumph Daytona 675 32.684
16 71 C. BERGMAN Honda CBR600RR 37.256
17 10 N. CALERO Kawasaki ZX-6R 46.892
18 83 L. EPIS Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'06.687
19 63 Z. KHAIRUDDIN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'24.025
RET 26 K. WATANABE Kawasaki ZX-6R 1 Lap
RET 78 H. OKUBO Honda CBR600RR 4 Laps
RET 99 P. JACOBSEN MV Agusta F3 675 8 Laps
RET 195 M. AL NAIMI Kawasaki ZX-6R 11 Laps
RET 48 G. SCARCELLA Honda CBR600RR 11 Laps
RET 112 S. AL SULAITI Kawasaki ZX-6R 12 Laps
RET 65 M. CANDUCCI Kawasaki ZX-6R  
Round Number: 
13
2017
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Total votes: 76

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Comments

Championship could've changed right up to the last bend.
l'm not a Kenan fan, but respect to him for riding so hard and keeping it interesting to the finish, despite his injury.
Great to see a new Champ..

Total votes: 67

I'm not a fan of Kenan's previous antics (head-butting from the bike!?) but wow, that was a superhuman effort. A hip break must be worse that a broken leg when trying to shift your weight on the bike.

 

KS remains the man to beat in this class. Including being punted off, he missed 5 races and still came this close.

Total votes: 87