World Supersport legend Kenan Sofuoglu will decide over the next few weeks whether or not to continue his racing career after a succession of heavy crashes, MCN can reveal. The Turk has admitted he was scared by yet another heavy accident in Australia a month ago, causing further damage to his already fragile hip.
For the second year in a row, Sofuoglu is to miss the World Supersport race in Thailand due to injury. However on this occasion things appear far more serious, with MCN sources revealing the 5-time World Champion is seriously contemplating retirement from racing. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.
On Thursday night, a source in Turkey revealed that the absence of the country’s racing legend may soon become more permanent than this week’s Puccetti Racing press release suggests. Just hours later, word of a similar nature began to circulate in the Buriram paddock, originating from different sources. Sofuoglu is present in Thailand, both working with Toprak Razgatlioglu and hoping to be passed fit ahead of the Aragon Round in three weeks’ time.
Last year, Sofuoglu missed the opening two races after sustaining a fractured right wrist in a supermoto crash at his track in Turkey. Despite this he was firmly back in title contention when he crashed in Superpole at Magny-Cours, breaking his hip in three places. Unbelievably, the Turk still raced to a podium finish in the Qatar finale and set a new lap record despite having been told by doctors that he was risking permanent injury or even death should he have crashed again. During the off-season he underwent no surgery, instead allowing the body to heal in the most natural way.
Fast-forward to Australia 2018 and the 33-year-old, who holds every World Supersport record imaginable, was thrown off his Kawasaki at 250km/h (155mph) when his rear tyre deflated in the middle of Stoner Corner during Saturday morning practice. ‘(This) has now increased the fragility of his bones in the previously fractured area (hip) and he will therefore require more time to fully recover and completely overcome the consequences of the Magny-Cours accident,’ Thursday’s team press release reads, while Malaysia’s Azlan Shah is drafted in to ride.
An in-depth interview with Kenan Sofuoglu and British Eurosport’s Charlie Hiscott will be aired on Saturday, with live Thailand coverage beginning from 6am GMT.