WSS

New Qualifying Format Sees Sofuoglu on top

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Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and his new 2016 team-mate Randy Krummenacher earned starting places on the front row of the gridwith Honda's Patrick Jacobsen for the first round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship at Phillip Island, after a new-look two-part Superpole-style qualifying.

For the first time in its history the final qualifying session in the WSS class followed the template originally created for the Superbike class, with Superpole 1 for the riders who were ranked from 11th place to last in the previous qualifying sessions. Superpole 2 then took the two fastest Superpole 1 riders, and the quickest ten competitors from regular qualifying, who then fought it out for the first few grid positions.

Sofuoglu, Krummenacher and Jacobsen qualified into Superpole 2 directly and in the 15 minutes of Superpole 2.

For Sofuoglu his championship defence has been on track from the start of practice on Friday, finding little difference in the overall racetrack performance of his Ninja ZX-6R, even though the technical regulations of the class now limit engine tuning and the degree of electronic rider aids allowed.

"It is nice to have taken the first Superpole in Supersport history," Sofuoglu said. "It was good today because the track was very clean and the grip was good. We did some very good work in these two days of testing and honestly we did not use all our best until today. The team did a very good job. But still there is a possibility that we can go even faster because we keep pushing the bike to the limit and I am not taking risks with my riding. I could see I was ‰Û÷P1‰Ûª and I tried to stay there. Hopefully tomorrow we can go for 25 points ‰ÛÒ the first win of the season would be very nice.‰Û
Patrick Jacobsen headed out of the pits and went second fastest. Photo: HRC
22-year-old American Patrick Jacobsen made important steps forward with his Honda CBR600RR in the first-ever Superpole for the class and, courtesy of a 1‰Ûª33.142 lap-time set towards the end of the session, he elevated himself to second place.

"Today was a really good day for us," Jacobsen said. "After yesterday‰Ûªs crash we managed to get up to speed and, with some good signs this morning, we knew we could have put together a good lap in the Superpole. We got the suspension working good and the bike feels really well, so I‰Ûªm looking forward to tomorrow and I think the big factor will be managing the tyres well and staying with the leading group in the early stages.

For Randy Krummenacher his first race weekend experience of the WSS class has been positive and he now looks to Sunday to convert his strong seam of testing and practice form into real race results.

Randy Krummenacher added, ‰ÛÏFront row first time in WSS and I am happy. Kenan put in a really strong lap at the end. I was ready to do better than I did but we had a bit of traffic on the last lap and I did not take the risk to pass. Overall I have to be very happy as I am in a very good position for the race tomorrow. I am confident because my pace is really constant.‰Û

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