Sofuoglul takes his first win of season to move to top spot

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WorldSSP title holder moves to the top of the standings with Portimao win and is joined on podium by Mahias and Cluzel

The reigning WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was in fine form as he notched up win number five of the season at the Prosecco DOC Portuguese Round on Sunday. On his Kawasaki ZX-6R Sofuoglu rode with caution in the early laps but ultimately beat championship rival Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) by just 0.08s, whilst Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) crossed the line in third.

Pole man Sofuoglu dropped back to fourth in the early stages with PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Mahias contesting the lead and Cluzel also getting in the mix.

But Jacobsen would eventually fall back to finish fifth, behind fourth-placed Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), whilst Cluzel ultimately ran a lonely last few laps to third.

Mahias put some pressure on Sofuoglu on the last lap as the Frenchman sought to retain the lead in the general standings, but the Kawasaki rider was too strong as he showed his class for a narrow – but crucial – triumph.

Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag), Christoffer Bergman (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) completed the top ten.

In an incident-packed 18 lap contest there were crashes for the likes of Stefan Hill (Profile Racing), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing), Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), whilst Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) missed out on the race due to technical problems with his MV Agusta F3 675 machine.

The WorldSSP riders return to action at the Pirelli French Round in two weeks’ time.

WorldSSP Results     1.  Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki   2. Lucas Mahias – Yamaha   3.   Jules Cluzel – Honda

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