Kawasaki is delighted to officially announce that five-time WorldSSP champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will remain an official rider inside the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team for the 2018 season.
Already the greatest WorldSSP competitor of all time in a statistical sense, Sofuoglu has been a Kawasaki rider since 2012 and has been in the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team since 2015.
Three of Kenan’s five championship wins have been taken while riding the Ninja ZX-6R and his most recent crowns have been earned as part of the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing set-up.
Sofuoglu is currently still at the height of his race winning powers, overcoming an unlucky start of the season which was disturbed by a training injury and then an unavoidable no-score in the third round. Since then he has won the three most recent races in succession and currently sits second in the championship table.
His record in WorldSSP is quite remarkable even considering that Kenan has spent the majority of his long international career in the middleweight class. He has scored 81 podium finishes in 120 starts, and has won 41 races. His pole position record sits at 32 but even more remarkably he has started 97 of his 120 races from the front row of the grid. He was champion in 2007 and 2010 with another manufacturer before taking titles with Kawasaki in 2012, 2015 and 2016.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “Firstly I would like to say a big thanks to Kawasaki. They see me like ‘their’ rider and they said that they would be very happy for me to stay in WorldSSP and keep winning on their bike. From my side, I have a very good connection with Kawasaki and especially Racing Manager for Europe, Steve Guttridge. He is one of the best people I have ever worked with in my career. When he brings anything to me I do not have to think about it. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team is another reason I want to continue, as I am really enjoying my racing and they are doing a great job. They make my bike ready to win. All of these reasons have lined up perfectly to let me continue racing and enjoy my riding. The bike gives us what we need to win races and it has proved itself at the highest level. Right now we are taking 100% from the bike. With all of these things together I am happy to race again with this package.”
Manuel Puccetti, Team Owner, stated: “Kenan is our ‘King’ so we are so proud and happy to continue to work together with him. We will do our best to continue to win together. We will not rest on our laurels and Kenan’s abilities. We try to work hard and improve our bike because all other top teams are trying to improve theirs. We are also so proud that next year we will have been working with Kawasaki for 15 years – at first in Italy and then in WorldSSP. I am pretty sure that again next season we will have the strongest rider in the championship with us.”
Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager, Corporate Planning/Operations
Kawasaki Motors Europe, stated: “Continuing the relationship with the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team and Kenan is a dream situation for us. Both are ultimate professionals and always provide a race-winning package on the Ninja ZX-6R. Kenan is incredibly talented and unbelievably strong mentally, but also his work ethic is second to none, on and off the bike. I'm so happy that we will be able to continue to learn a lot from this partnership again into 2018.”