Sykes Wins Superpole at Imola

Press Release | September 25, 2010

The following release is from Kawasaki…Sykes Wins Superpole For Kawasaki!WSBK, Imola, Italy, 25 September 2010

Tom Sykes was untouchable in the final Superpole session at Imola, taking his first career pole in WSBK racing and earning the first Superpole trophy for the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R since 2007.Sykes was well in the mix all through qualifying, in both dry and then wet conditions. Subtle changes to his machine for the third and final Superpole elimination session – allied to Tom’s great skill and cool headed approach – took him to the best possible starting position for Sunday’s 21-lap Superbike races.Tom had been fifth in the first unofficial practice rankings, ninth in the first day’s qualifying session and was eighth in this afternoon’s unofficial practice period. He progressed through Superpole One and Two unscathed to add his name to an illustrious list of previous Superpole winners.The last Kawasaki rider to take pole in WSB was Fonsi Nieto, at the Lausitzring in Germany, in 2007. Tom’s pre-race success today was Kawasaki’s 20th WSBK pole position.Ian Lowry, who was standing in for the injured Chris Vermeulen once again, paid the price for a lack of experience at this most tricky of circuits. The changeable weather ensured he had no chance to improve on his day one qualifying position of 21st, putting him only one place out of Superpole qualification.Tom Sykes: “We went into the session in wet conditions and in Superpole One I struggled with grip, came in early and then the boys turned the information I gave them into the best package we could have hoped for. We made some more changes in Superpole three and it was a case of now or never. It’s great to win Superpole for the first time. It is something extra to put on my CV and a good way to say a big thank you to both Kawasaki and the team. It is a good job we had one wet race at Brands Hatch in the BSB meeting we did earlier in the summer because we tried a few things in that race that clearly didn’t work. Because of that we knew exactly where we needed to be now. We still need to improve the bike in the wet, but once again we know which direction to go in. The boys in the team have got it all covered, so all I have to do is get on tomorrow and try my hardest.”Ian Lowry: “Imola is a great track but I had never been here before. Most of the guys have been here testing for two days a couple of months ago. In the first session the balance of the bike wasn’t really right, because our Nürburgring settings didn’t really suit this track. We got it back a bit and made a lot of adjustments and improvements for today, but it was wet so I couldn’t make it into Superpole. The bike is not far away but this place is difficult to learn. It is enjoyable at the same time!”

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