Posted on: April 3, 2013

Sofuoglo is greatly influenced by Dhoni’s humility!

By Antara Das

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Sofuoglo is greatly influenced by Dhoni’s humility!

The Turkish rider Kenan Sofuoglo was the star performer in Mahendra Singh Dhoni-owned Mahi Racing Team India. He made immediate impact after joining the team by winning the race at Philip Island last month. He believes that 'life is dangerous'--this belief makes him fearless when he hits the tracks in the World Super Sport Championships (WSS).

Sofuoglo is the biggest name in the WSS. He has won three titles on 2007, 2010, 2012 and relishes the highest number of wins in these championships — 21. But these success stories cannot steal away the anguish that he has endured in his personal life.

Kenan is the youngest of three brothers born to a motorcycle dealer in Adapazari, Turkey. His brothers Bahattin and Sinan were both active motorcycle racers. But unfortunately, they lost their lives tragically when they were 24 and 26 respectively.

Bahattin lost his life while crossing the road in front of their house in 2002 while Sinan demised in 2008 due to brutal injuries suffered during training for Turkish Championships in Kocaeli. He admitted that he is a lucky person in case of racing but not so in life during a visit to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida on Saturday. After losing his second brother in 2008, he wanted to give up racing for good. But his father Irfan encouraged him to continue and live up his dream.

The 29-year-old Sofuoglo narrated that he had won a SuperSport Championship in just his second season with Ten Kate Honda team in 2007 but after 2008, he was totally broken. He returned to SuperSport in 2010 and once again managed to win the championship. Sadly he lost his 56-year-old father in 2011 as he was suffering from cancer. Those were his challenging times. He added that presently he is survived by his mother.

Sofuoglo returned to WSS last year and won back his crown with Kawasaki after a short stint in Moto2 in 2011. He disclosed that he is an official rider for Kawasaki and since he was the World champion they gave him the option of riding for either an Italian or an Indian team. He preferred to choose the Indian because coming from Turkey he felt that they are quite close to Indian culture hence, they can relate to the people here. He added that he began racing competitively at the age of 16.

Sofuoglo got the chance to expend some time with Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and was humbled by the meeting. He found Mahi fascinating. Dhoni told Sofuoglo a very simple thing that ‘Dhoni’ is someone which anyone can be. Dhoni simply highlighted his humility. The Turkish rider admitted that he also hails from a humble background and appreciate someone who has not forgotten his roots.

Sofuoglo described, in lines of Dhoni's obsession with bikes that, he is very passionate about motorcycles and understands his bikes. Mahi told him that he has a big collection of bikes but is really possessive about his old collection. He told Sofuoglo that he can take away any of his new bikes but he won't let him touch any of his old ones.

The final round of the World SuperBike Championship will occur at the Buddh International Circuit on 17th November. He assured that he will be returning to India for the final race and he hopes that Mahi Racing would be already champions by that time. Otherwise, it would be great to win the championships here in India.

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