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After missing the first two rounds of the 2017 FIM Supersport World Championship due to a hand and thumb injury suffered in pre-season testing five-time champion #kenansofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will join his team-mate #kyleryde at #motorlandaragon this weekend.
Sofuoglu will start his first race of the season on Sunday 2nd April, joining 19-year-old Ryde for the first time in 2017 as the official Kawasaki entry gets back to full strength.
In the absence of Sofuoglu many of his expected championship rivals have experienced tough starts to their own seasons, meaning Kenan still has highly realistic opportunities to aim for his sixth world championship by the end of the season.
Ryde has been posting his best on track results of his second #worldssp season in real race situations, having already scored fourth and fifth places at Phillip Island and Chang International Circuit respectively. Kyle is fourth in the championship after two rounds, and is the leading Kawasaki rider with 24 points.
After carrying the hopes of his team in the first two rounds Ryde is now looking forward to combining forces with his experienced team-mate Sofuoglu to continue the progress that has impressed many observers so far.
Kyle is still early in his learning curve at global level but Kenan is already the greatest #worldssp rider of all time as his career statistics to date bear out. He has taken 38 career race wins (part of 78 podiums) 30 pole positions, 94 front row starts of all kinds and 27 fastest laps in races.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “I am very happy because I did some training on my own small track and I can ride a bike, which is good news for me. Of course, this session was on a smaller bike and not on my race 600, but I am quite happy because I can do laps. At the moment I cannot say so much but I can ride a bike. How strong I am we will see in Aragon. The positive thing is that my thumb gave me no problem after my training sessions and the doctor said to me it was all good. Now we go to Aragon and this will be my first race since Qatar last year.”
Kyle Ryde, stated: “I am really looking forward to the first European round. I have been to #motorlandaragon many times and it was one of my best races last year. I think it will be a good weekend in Spain as I have learned a lot in the first two rounds of the year, in Australia and Thailand. With Kenan back for this round it should help over the whole weekend and I hope it will bring more out of me. I am aiming for a top five finish again.”
Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) is ninth in the current championship standings, with another championship regular Lachlan Epis (Response RE #racing Kawasaki) 12th.
Nacho Calero (Orelac #racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 15th approaching his home race in Spain, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac #racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is ranked 17th and Michael Canducci (Puccetti #racing Junior Team FMI Kawasaki) is 19th. The so far luckless Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) has yet to score points.
Part-time ESS riders Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary by Pedercini Racing) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) join the championship regulars at this, the first European round of the year. Naser Al Malki (Qatar National Team Kawasaki) will be a one-event rider at #motorlandaragon.
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