Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes wasn’t at the top in Superpole 1 and he wasn’t at the top in Superpole 2, but he was at the top in the only Superpole session that really matters – Superpole 3 – and that earned him pole position for tomorrow’s two World Superbike races at Donington Park in England.
Homeboy Sykes is quickly becoming the King of Superpole, the Brit earning his fourth pole position in five tries with this one coming on a blistering lap of 1:27.716 – a new lap record at Donington.
Sykes through down his lap right at the start of the session and it held, despite the best efforts of BMW factory stars Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri. In the end it was Haslam coming up second in his home round, the Brit just .148 of a second off Sykes’ mark. Haslam ended Superpole 2 on top and was the man who gave Sukes the biggest challenge in the final Superpole session.
Melandri, meanwhile, couldn’t get into the 1:27s, the Italian lapping at 1:28.177 – .461 slower than Sykes, but good enough for third on the front row.
The front row for tomorrow’s two races will be filled by Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian moving up the order in each of the three sessions to finally end up fourth.
Row two for the races will be headed by Team Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli – on the first of the Ducati V-twins. He’ll be joined there by Honda’s Jonathan Rea, Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier and Effenbert’s Jakub Smrz, the Czech rider leading the morning session, and leading Superpole 1 before sliding down the order in Superpole 3.
The third row will consist of defending World Champion Carlos Checa, the Spaniard not advancing from Superpole 2, BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio and Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:27.716
2. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:27.864
3. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:28.177
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:28.340
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:28.420
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:28.546
7. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1:28.55
8. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:28.795
9. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)