WSS: Champion Sofuoglu out for first two rounds

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Reigning World Supersport Champion Kenan Sofuoglu will miss the opening two rounds of the 2017 season after finding he was unable to ride in this week’s Phillip Island test.

It was always going to be a race against time for the multiple champion after dislocating and breaking a bone in his right thumb during a training accident a few weeks ago and after attempting to ride in the pre-season test ahead of the 2017 championship getting underway in Phillip Island this weekend, he has decided he will fly back to Turkey for further surgery ruling him out of both the Australian and Thai rounds.   

“I have decided to go home to Turkey to get more surgery after we took the metal out of my thumb it has dislocated again,” he said. “We have made the decision as I can’t ride the bike, after some laps the pain is killing me. I can’t brake, so it’s dangerous for both me and the other riders.

“My goal now is to be back on the bike in Aragon. Of course I’m very disappointed to miss the first two rounds but now I have to be motivated to be ready for Aragon.”

While a nightmare for Sofuoglu, his absence presents a huge opportunity to his rivals to get a head start in the opening two rounds. Sofouglu has dominated the 600cc class in recent years, taking four out of the last six world titles.

American rider PJ Jacobsen topped the week’s test for MV Agusta ahead of Roberto Rolfo and Jules Cluzel. Luke Stapleford enjoyed an impressive start clocking the sixth fastest time for the Profile Triumph team, while Gino Rea was the second fastest Brit in 11th. Kyle Ryde and Kyle Smith were 13th and 16th fastest respectively.  

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing