Misano World Supers: Sykes/Kawasaki On Pole

Cycle News Staff | June 11, 2011

With Tom Sykes and Jakub Smrz lobbing the fastest time back and forth like they were in a tennis match during final Superpole at Misano, you figured it was only a matter of time before Carlos Checa stepped up and hit a winner to take yet another pole position. But that wasn’t the case as Sykes kept fighting and bettering his time in the wet conditions and Checa’s last-lap attempt wasn’t quick enough, giving Sykes his second career World Superbike pole position and the first for the new Kawasaki ZX10-R.Superpole 3 was a slugfest in the poor conditions. First it was Sykes to the top, then Smrz, then Sykes again, then Smrz, then finally Sykes with his 1:55.197. Checa gave it one final effort and it was enough to move past Smrz, but the Althea Ducati rider couldn’t quite beat Sykes. In the end, Checa’s 1:55.373 will put him second on the grid for tomorrow’s race with Smrz and BMW’s Leon Haslam joining him and Sykes there. For Sykes it was his second career pole for the Kawasaki team as he earned pole at Imola in iffy conditions last year.Sykes, Checa and Smrz weren’t the only riders to crack into the 1:55s as Yamaha’s Marco Melandri put in a quick lap at the end to push Leon Haslam, who crashed at the end of the session, to the second row. Melandri finished with a 1:55.768 to Haslam’s 1:56.034.Haslam will be joined on the second row for tomorrow’s two races by Troy Corser and his factory BMW, Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and Smrz’ Ducati teammate Sylvain Guintoli.

Final Qualifying

1.                  Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:55.197

2.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:55.373

3.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:55.745

4.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 1:55.768

5.                  Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:56.034

6.                  Troy Corser (BMW) 1:56.285

7.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:56.480

8.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:57.054

9.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1:57.054

10.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 1:57.454