Kenan Sofuoglu on top of the Supersport world

Kenan Sofuoglu tops his fantastic year with a well-deserved racing cherry.
© Gold & Goose/Red Bull Content Pool
By Ben Miller

Following his second-place finish in Portimão on Sunday, Kenan Sofuoglu has clinched the title of most successful WSS rider in history.

The 28 year-old Turk's second-place finish in Portugal secured his overall victory in the 2012 FIM World Supersport Championship after winning four previous races this season.

This is Sofuoglu's third WSS title, having conquered his opponents in both 2007 and 2010. His shining career, which has seen a record-total of 21 race wins, reached its peak last weekend after making nine podiums in this year's championship

The Ninja ZX-6R rider is now joined with Andrew Pitt as the only riders to win a championship for Kawasaki.

"We knew that we did not have to come to Portugal to win the race to win the title. We had a few problems with set-up yesterday but we were in good shape today and I could take the lead," said Sofuoglu. "I made some mistakes and dropped back. I knew I only had to finish fourth but in the last couple of laps I thought I would try to take a podium so I finished second.

Sofuoglu's push towards the end of the 20-lap race was not quite enough to stop Frenchman Jules Cluzel from finishing in first place, though friends and foe alike are quick to praise him for his outstanding continual achievement despite his knee injury.

"Sometimes in the race I was thinking that I was already going to be World Champion, so I was asking myself why I had to take more risk, so I was careful, especially on the last lap not to attack Cluzel in the lead," added Sofuoglu. "It was great to win the title with Kawasaki but it has not been an easy year for us... to win the title in the first year with Kawasaki makes me very happy."

This weekend's championship win will no doubt come as a welcome distraction from Sofuoglu's embarrassing behaviour in Aragon earlier in the summer. Stripped of his WSS Spanish win in July for "head-butting" French rider Fabien Foret mid-race (at no less than 250kmh!), the Turkish wonder refused to comment. His victim diplomatically (and enigmatically) attributed any unwanted contact to its being "a bit windy".

Sofuoglu finished just ahead of Foret on Sunday, who took third on the podium.


Kenan Sofuoğlu
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