Monday, 23 April 2012 09:37

Kawasaki Sit 1-2 in WSS Championship - Sykes 3rd in WSBK Series

Written by  Kawasaki Europe
Keenan Sofuoglu Keenan Sofuoglu Graeme Brown

Changing weather conditions meant that Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini rider Kenan Sofuoglu was unable to challenge for the win today but in taking second place he joined fellow Kawasaki rider Fabien Foret in the points lead.

Sofuoglu1

Sofuoglu, was fourth in qualifying, rode with pace and control to be in the leading group and was not too badly affected by his recent knee injury. As the track conditions changed the top four positions changed and Sofuoglu rode to finish second after race winner Lorenzo Lanzi passed at unstoppable pace. After his third race on a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R he is now back at the top of the table, on the same 45 points as Intermoto Step Kawasaki rider Fabien Foret.

Foret

Fabien was forced to pull in today because of a rear tyre issue in the frequently soaking conditions. Sheridan Morais had a similar problem with grip from the rear and carried on to finish 15th and score a single point. He is now in 12th place overall.

Lanusse

Romain Lanusse made good use of his Intermoto Step Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R to score 11th place and score useful championship points. He is now 16th overall.

Sofuoglu3

Kenan Sofuoglu: “I think I am happy for second place because in these conditions if you can finish the race you have already made a good job. We are quite happy and I am a world championship rider so I have to think about the world championship. Still I am not really fit but after a couple of races I think my injured knee will be ready for real dry conditions. I was happy to ride in the dry but today I think we were just a little bit lucky.”

Sheridan Morais: “Yesterday in the rain we were third quickest and yet today sometimes I was ten seconds a lap slower than I was yesterday in similar conditions. I know I had no rear grip and even when I look at the rear tyre it looks like brand new. So I do not know what caused that but I was riding on the absolute limit and nearly crashed I do not know how many times. It was a tough day but we got the bike home.”

Sykes

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) could not fully capitalise on his pole position at Assen after finding a technical problem in race 1 and then finding himself on an imperfect tyre choice in race2.

Tom’s fortunes in the two races at Assen were as changeable as the weather on raceday. In the firs trunning of race one Tom’s bike suffered a faulty water pump hose clip and he was forced to retire from what had started out as a leading position. Rain returned just as Tom was experiencing his difficulties and the race was stopped soon after Tom had pulled out of the race. He was unable to make the restarted wet race, run over nine laps, which awarded full points and was won by Sylvain Guintoli.

In race two, run over the full 22-laps, Tom got the holeshot but Jakub Smrz had opted for an intermediate front tyre and shot into the lead for a time. Tom found his hard rear tyre option difficult to work with on a track surface that started out with some damp patches on it, but then rapidly dried out. He slowly dropped back; fighting all the way and ultimately rallying as his hard tyre started to work better as the race progressed. Sykes therefore took ten points for his sixth place finish in race two, and in doing so remained is third place in the championship fight, only 13 points from new leader Max Biaggi, and 12 points behind Carlos Checa, who no-scored in race two.

Mercado

Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s rookie SBK rider, Leonardo Mercado, scored a best Kawasaki finish in race one, tenth in fully wet conditions. He followed that up with another points scoring ride to 15th and another point in race two. Pedercini man David Salom was 13th in race one, and 12th in race two. Mercado and Salom both have nine points, with Mercado ranked 19th and Salom 20th.

Sykes1

Tom Sykes: “A tricky day but things could have been worse. It is just the way racing goes because we have had good pace all weekend with the ZX-10R and that pole time was very good from yesterday and I was confident to build on that. In race one we were able to do something from pole but unfortunately we had a small issue with the clip for the radiator hose. In race two with many things to consider, we chose a different tyre in the rear, the hard one, and it looked like it cost us a lot of time and caused me a lot of issues. At the end of the day we brought the bike and there are many positives to take away. We have some very good circuits coming up for our bike.”

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