Five-time WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) found himself on the second row of the grid at the Lausitzring after a sometimes challenging weekend of practice and Superpole qualifying.
With current statistics of 98 front row starting positions from 122 WorldSSP race meetings, Sofuoglu ended up with a fifth grid placing, after the completion of the second WorldSSP Superpole qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.
Having won the Imola race this year from fifth place on the grid Sofuoglu is confident he can fight for the race win on Sunday – but the experienced Turkish star fully expects to be involved in a fight at this particular circuit. Sofuoglu will be shooting for a fifth consecutive race win tomorrow; after a run of unbroken success in Assen, Imola, Donington and Misano.
Only five points behind the lead in the championship standings, despite missing out on points scores in some early rounds through injury, Kenan will be going out for a 43rd career race win on Sunday.
Kyle Ryde, Sofuoglu’s team-mate, qualified 21st on the grid after making great progress compared to what was a tough Friday for the 20-year-old British rider, who has not been on track since the traditional summer break began in mid-June.
On Sunday the 19-lap WorldSSP race will take place at 11.30 local time in Europe, before the next round gets underway in mid-September in Portugal.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “I think it is going to be a good race tomorrow, because the lap times are very close. Of course I am not happy that I could not make it onto the first row but the good thing is that tomorrow should give us an exciting race. I also like to be involved in exciting races – if things are difficult, I like it! Tomorrow will be good as my bike and my package are doing the same lap times as last year, but the competition is strong now. We will find anything and everything that can be improved when we sit down tonight. We will work on the settings and look forward to the race tomorrow.”
Kyle Ryde, stated: “It was better today as I was two seconds faster than I was yesterday although still a way off of the quickest. But we are at least moving in the right direction. I have been away from the track for nine weeks, while some others have been testing or riding, which was tough. But we improved to set a 1’43.1 flat today. Kenan was quickest here last year but even he is half a second off today. If I keep focused on him I will see how close I can get to him in the race.”
Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI Kawasaki) leads a four rider Kawasaki run from 18th to 21st place on the grid, with Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) 19th, Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 20th and Ryde 21st.
Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) went 24th in Superpole, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) 26th and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) 28th. Kawasaki Puccetti Racing one-off rider Ken Iguchi was 32nd.