MAHI Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu proved to be unstoppable out on the Russian track in the first World Supersport qualifying practice session this afternoon. He dominated early on and propelled himself to the top of the timesheets with a 1’38.088, meaning Yakhnich Yamaha’s Sam Lowes was demoted to second after he initially topped the timesheets with his best lap of 1’38.240.
The Lincolnshire lad tried hard to bag the provisional pole spot from his rival, but this time he proved unsuccessful. But Sofuoglu was not the only rider that Lowes had to keep his eye on, his Russian team-mate Vladimir Leonov oozed confidence on his home circuit and was only three tenths of a second slower than Lowes and ended the session third fastest, followed by Team Goeleven Andrea Antonelli and Suriano Racing’s Alex Baldolini, who rounded off the top five.
Pata Honda’s Michael Van der Mark went nearly a second quicker this afternoon, compared to the earlier free practice session, but it was not enough to make a dent in the top three fastest times and the Dutch rider had to settle for sixth.
Rivamoto rider Jack Kennedy did improve from his time this morning by two tenths of a second, but could not lap in the 1’38’s in the qualifying practice session, and bagged himself a provisional third row start, followed by MAHI Racing’s Fabien Foret and ParkinGO MV rider Roberto Rolfo.
DMC-Lorenzini rider Kev Coghlan rounded off the top ten with his 1’39.406 lap. Fellow Brit ParkinGO MV’s Christian Iddon improved most of all, as he was able to knock over a second off his time from free practice to climb up to fourteenth in the timesheets. PTR Honda's wild card rider Luke Mossey ended the session 25th fastest with a 1’41.372.