Sykes To Start From Pole In Australia

Cycle News Staff | February 25, 2012

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes will start Sunday’s two World Superbike races from pole position after Superpole was cancelled at Phillip Island on Saturday after a fatal accident took the life of young Australian Superstock 600 rider Oscar McIntyre prior to the start of the session.

It is just the second time in the history of Superpole that it had been cancelled – the first was in 1998 at Donington Park in England because of snow – as the track was shut down for some 90 minutes while investigations into McIntyre’s death were carried out by local officials.

“Pole position has come with mixed emotions because of some very bad news and first and foremost I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre,” Sykes said in a release. “As far as our on-track weekend has worked out so far, yesterday we just made sure things were right with the bike and pushed a bit more in this morning’s qualifying session in cooler conditions.”

Second on the grid for Sunday’s two 22-lap Superbike races will be Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian .54 of a second behind Sykes. World Champion Carlos Checa and Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati rider will complete the front row as the 25th year of World Superbike racing gets started Down Under.

The pole is the third in Sykes’ World Superbike career.

The story from pre-Superpole qualfying can be found here