Season Restart For Sofuoglu And Ryde2017-08-18 13:04
After a long summer break since the previous round at Misano in mid-June the 2017 WorldSSP championship gets underway again at the Lausitzring in Germany this weekend, with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team once more fielding regular riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Kyle Ryde.
Sofuoglu has recovered from early season injury and other misfortunes to score four wins in a row and draw himself to within five points of the championship lead, in a clear second place, with five rounds remaining.
Twenty-year-old Ryde grows in experience with every passing weekend and he will be particularly keen to get back into action at the Lausitzring after such a long summer break. He sits eighth in the championship currently, ahead of several more experienced international riders.
The remarkable Sofuoglu’s run of four straight wins – from Assen through Imola, Donington and most recently Misano – has taken his all-time record race victory tally to 42. The 32-year old Turkish star now has a career total of 82 podiums from 121 race starts in this class.
With only the WorldSBK riders competing at Laguna Seca in early July, Lausitz will be the eighth of 12 rounds for the WorldSSP class. As it is a European round, the ESS riders will also be competing, for full championship points and their own internal championship supremacy.
After the completion of the Lausitzring race Sofuoglu and his peer group will head to Portugal, and the undulating circuit of Portimao, for the ninth round on 17th September.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “Before the summer break I won the race in Misano, which gave me some good holiday time. For the last two weeks I have been on a bike at home in Turkey, at a small track, to keep up my training. Now I am really happy we are back racing because, honestly, two months is a long break in the season. Now I can continue my job because I love racing and I am happy that later this week I will be back on my race bike. Obviously the season has been changing for me, step-by-step, because I am getting closer to the championship lead. But in the past four races I have been pushing and won them all. I still I want to continue to enjoy racing to win. I am very happy in the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team, and with the people around me. We enjoy winning the races so we do not want to think about the championship. With five races still to go, including in Germany, a lot can change. I just want to ride my bike and win the race.”
Kyle Ryde, stated: “It has been a very long summer break in the WorldSSP class, and with no testing to do, and only riding my pit bike for fun, I am really keen to get back on track. After the first few rounds and the summer break I know where I stand. What I need to do on Friday at Lausitz is to give myself a better chance of the best possible result on Sunday, which is to get on the bike and just really ride it as it is.”
Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) will be back in action at the Lausitzring after missing the Misano race through injury. He is 15th in the championship, just one place above Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) after the first seven rounds. The Lausitz race will include one more rider in the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team than normal, with Pirelli guest rider Ken Iguchi joining for one round only.
Early season misfortunes have held back Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in 21st place overall, while some strong performances from ESS rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) see him 23rd at present.
Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 25th in the standings, Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) is 26th and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 31st.
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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