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Imola WSBK: Sofuoglu bosses re-run Supersport race

Kawasaki Puccetti rider Kenan Sofuoglu strengthened his lead at the top of the World Supersport standings with an imperious victory in a truncated re-run race at Imola ahead of MV Agusta’s Jules Cluzel.

Cluzel can consider himself unlucky, as he had been leading the race and looking comfortable before a mechanical issue with Randy Krummenacher’s Kawasaki saw the black flag come out.

Krummenacher failed to pay heed to the flag, despite looking at his machine, which was spitting smoke and possibly oil behind him and for that he was disqualified from taking part in the restart, run over a shortened 11 laps.


Sofuoglu made his move past the Frenchman in the opening laps of the restart and from there on in, while Cluzel became stuck in a battle for second, the Turkish rider opened up a gap and never looked back.

The battle for second was a thriller for much of the race, with Honda’s PJ Jacobsen, the MV duo of Cluzel, Lorenzo Zanetti and Team Lorini Honda’s Ayrton Badovini getting into the thick of it at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

That race for second allowed Sofuoglu to run away with the race over the first half, and although Jacobsen was on his own in second and chasing him down briefly the American soon got reeled back in, where the fight with the others wore him down.

Cluzel took advantage of the scrap with three laps remaining, swooping up the inside of Jacobsen at Rivazza but, although he pulled the pin on the Honda rider and gapped him by a second he failed to make a telling impact on Sofuoglu’s lead.

At the chequered flag, Sofuoglu’s gap had been reduced to 1.4s but in truth it was as much down to the Turkish rider’s late race management as it was to Cluzel’s late drive for glory as the MV Agusta rider had to settle for second, a further 1.6s ahead of Jacobsen.

MV Agusta’s Alex Baldolini finished strong, emerging from the group in behind to take fourth at the line ahead of San Carlo’s Alessandro Zaccone, Zanetti, Team Go Eleven’s Ondrej Jezek and Honda’s Federico Caricasulo.

Despite being in the battle for second at one point, Ayrton Badovini could only make ninth at the end of the race as he got beaten up in the battle for fifth, and Nico Terol completed the top ten on his Schmidt Racing MV Agusta a further 8-seconds back.

The Britons in the race had a difficult weekend, with Kyle Smith the best of them on the CIA Honda in 11th, ahead of Ranieri Med – SC Racing’s Kyle Ryde in 16th and Luke Stapleford on his Profile Racing Triumph finished a creditable 19th on the grid, having started way down in 37th following qualifying problems.

GRT Racing’s Gino Rea looked to have had a chance of a decent weekend but he fell at the final chicane when trying to pass on the inside of Team Go Eleven Cristian Gamarino, and the same fate befell fellow Briton Stefan Hill as the youngster crashed out on lap four. 

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