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Sofuoglu aiming for Valencia podium after Estoril show

Sofuoglu aiming for Valencia podium after Estoril show

An eye-catching display in his GP debut from the Turkish rider has given him great confidence for the final round of the season he told

Kenan Sofuoglu’s World Championship debut in the Moto2 race at the bwin Grande Premio de Portugal on Sunday served notice of the Turkish rider’s talent to a wider audience, as he produced a superb performance that rounded off a highly impressive weekend.

In his first GP with the Technomag-CIP team the world supersport champion was in the top four in all three practice sessions in wet conditions, and when the reversal of the weather meant he was forced to ride his Suter machine on a dry track for the very first time in the race Sofuoglu responded magnificently.

The 26 year-old made a superb start from fourth on the grid and at one stage led the race by over six seconds, before tyre problems caused his pace to drop. Sofuoglu also battled an issue with the handlebar on his bike as he eventually rode to fifth position for a notable result on his debut.

“It wasn’t such a bad race but I was really hoping for rain! After practicing in the wet all weekend I hadn’t ridden in the dry at all, so I knew nothing about the bike or the tyres in such conditions. But we had a dry race and I just had to do my best,” said Sofuoglu.

“At the beginning of the race I had some problems with my handlebar because I crashed during the warm up. We fixed the bike at the last second and at every turn I had to force the handlebar. Then halfway through the race I started having a rear-tyre problem and it was completely destroyed! So I had to fight with some problems during the race and this is the reason I dropped back.”

Sofuoglu now heads to Valencia for the final race of the season and a track he has previous experience on. His aim is to fight for a top-three finish.

“For me this was a training weekend and now I go to Valencia where hopefully things will be more normal with good weather, and we can get a good feeling on the bike with the set-up before the race in dry conditions. Hopefully I can be stronger than in this weekend,” he said.

“I have raced there in supersport and while it’s not my favourite track I am quite fast there. Hopefully the bike will be working well and I can push for a podium.”

Moto2, 2010, bwin GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Technomag-CIP

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