World Supersport controversy continues to burn

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The controversy that ended Sunday’s World Supersport race at Assen has continued to burn, with race winner Kenan Sofuoglu and second place finisher Jules Cluzel firing shots at each other after their last corner collision.

The Turk came out on top after a last corner collision between the two. Despite race control judging the heavy contact a racing incident, paddock and fans alike have been subsequently split over who was to blame.

However, that hasn’t stopped Kawasaki rider Sofuoglu from putting the blame for the incident fully onto the Frenchman.

“I knew I had the pace to win this race. I started doing very fast laps at the end, but Jules was able to keep up with me. I knew he was going to try at the chicane. I took a very tight line to close the door on him. There was no door open. He still tried to attack me and he missed the corner. When he missed the corner, he opened another door for me. I just opened the throttle. Then I saw he wanted to close the door, but I was already on the throttle and heading for the finish, so I am not going to close it off.

“He was lucky he didn’t crash. I don’t understand why he complained, but probably because of losing the race and not about what happened there. I know why he was angry: because he lost the race, after trying to win following a lot of problems in the last few races. I know that he deserved to win in Thailand and that in Aragon he was also fighting for the race. He needed the motivation and needed to win here. Of course he needed to win here, so it is very disappointing when you lose. He has found something to complain about but it’s not a problem. We have got the 25 points.”

MV Agusta rider Cluzel was quick to hit the blame ball back, though, laying it firmly in Sofuoglu’s hands.

 “He is surprised by my reaction…I have no answer to that. I think everybody saw that I just tried to pass, like I needed to do. I was in front and he just hit me because I didn’t see him. It’s nice for the people who watch on TV, for sure, but what is the next step? Do I need to come back and hit him, so he crashes or we crash together? I’m not here to get injured like that. I just tried to pass him and he tried to pass me, but every time he passed me I would be pushed wide and lose a second.

“He is just a step more crazy than me. I will try to be a little bit more crazy with him, but I don’t understand. I think he has trained how to hit people and not crash. I never train like this; if I hit somebody, I nearly crash. This is not my philosophy. I enjoy racing, I enjoy fighting and I will learn. Sometimes I don’t know what is happening in his head. I just hope he keeps calm until the end of the season. I think he is scared about us.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer