Kawasaki takes Superbike and Supersport wins for Baz and Sofuoglu at Silverstone
Loris Baz repeated his 2012 Silverstone race one win for his KRT squad with a race two victory in what were changeable weather conditions. Meanwhile Kenan Sofuoglu took the top step in a thrilling Supersport race.
Loris joined the race winners’ list in 2013 with a strong start-to-finish performance in race two that made up for what he saw was losing a sure podium finish in the opening race. He eventually finished fifth in the first race of the day, also held in ever-changing conditions. Tom Sykes finished 11th in race one while in race two he scored valuable points for seventh place.
Both races at Silverstone witnessed falls of rain, some small and some more intense, but under the flag-to-flag rules for this season the riders stayed out on slicks in both races.
The second race, led in the early dry stages by Loris for almost ten laps, was a strong early showing for both KRT riders, until the rains re-appeared and championship challenger Sykes slowed his pace to make sure he could finish the race and score points in both contests.
In the championship fight Tom is still second, now 13 points behind Sylvain Guintoli, while Loris is sixth - but equal on points with the rider in fifth place.
Loris Baz: “After race one I was really disappointed because I was fighting for the podium but maybe I was thinking too much about this and made a lot of mistakes, so I finished fifth. In race two I said to myself, “OK, this one is mine.” In the first part of the race, even in the dry, I had good pace and I pushed at the front. I tried to control the pace from the front but there were some fast people behind me and it was difficult to go away.
Every time somebody tried to pass me I passed them back and at the end the conditions were really wet and I nearly fell. I want to say thanks my team because they are making a really good job with this bike for not just Tom or me but for both riders. Now I feel really comfortable. I also want to dedicate this victory to Andrea Antonelli’s family.”
Tom Sykes: “Race two was similar to race one and today in these weather conditions it was always going to be a difficult one. I was not prepared to put too much on the line in these kinds of conditions – slick tyres, rain falling - and that is just the way it is. I was not prepared to gamble too much and we saw how easy it was for people to crash, so taking some points is better than taking none. I do not like thinking about the championship but I was maybe forced to think a little bit about it in race two.
We have not given away too much to the championship leader. We struggled a little bit in the beginning of race two as the rear tyre did not feel as strong as in race one but I know the Ninja ZX-10R is working well. Congratulations to Loris on his win and after the summer break we will move on and see what we can do at some circuits we should do well at.”
In a stunning Supersport race Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) scored a win and third respectively after 16-laps of hard and fast action, with Sofuoglu making up ground in the championship
Only Sofuoglu and Sam Lowes had the pace to lead and they gapped the following riders comprehensively to fight it out right to the very last lap. Close to the end, after Lowes had taken the lead, both riders entered a slow hairpin and touched, with Lowes crashing, but restarting to finish second. Sofuoglu took the win, the 24th of his career.
It was Sofuoglu’s second race win in succession, his third of the season and takes him to within 29 points of championship leader Lowes.
Foret battled through from a third row starting place to take a clever third place, holding off the charging local rider Kevin Coghlan (Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini) who had his best race of the year today, in fourth place.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “My first two laps were very good but after that my rear tyre spun on the rim and this affected me in the race. I lost my best speed and I just tried to control Sam. In the last lap we were really fighting and I thought maybe something was going to happen. I understood he wanted to win too much and I wanted to win too much.
When Sam passed me on the last lap we both ran away from the track, and neither of us had an ideal line. Both of us entered the next corner on a very tight line and I touched him. He crashed and I am sad for that. I will still have to be lucky to win the title because of the points gap, but I hope I can win more races.”
Fabien Foret: “I was riding hard today but starting from the third row is always going to make it difficult. It was good to get on the podium and we had a good strong race today. I started the weekend in a difficult position and I took what I could take on raceday. I hope I can be much closer in the Nürburgring at the next round.”
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