Turkey's ace motorcycle racer says he regularly visits Syrian refugee families residing in his hometown in northwestern Sakarya province. Kenan Sofuoğlu believes that as an international public figure and five-time winner of the Supersport World Championship title, he should lead in humanitarian work.A public figure should be "beneficial to society," he told Anadolu Agency (AA). Sofuoğlu's interest in motorcycle racing began in 1996 when he watched his older brother riding the two-wheelers. In 2003, at the age of 16, he began participating in competitions. In 2007, he won his first Supersport World Championship, a motorcycle racing competition on paved surfaces. It was then, at the peak of his career, he realized he had a social responsibility.
"I realized that our words and actions can be more influential on people," he said. It is important to be physically involved in a project, rather than just lending it financial support, he added. After his 2007 win, he became a Kawasaki rider in 2013, and won his third title in the same year. In 2015 and 2016 he won two more titles. Last October, he suffered a hip injury during a qualifying session of the 2017 World Supersport Championship in France. The 33-year-old sportsman said that after taking leave from active sports, he wants to use his experience to support the future generation.
"My dream is to raise Turkish athletes who will race in Formula One," he said. He also added that he appreciated how international sports personalities were now raising their voices for humanitarian issues. Recently, Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo used social media to draw attention to the tragic situation of Syrian children.