Three different men on three different brands of motorcycles led the three Superpole sessions today at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain, but the man who earned pole position is the same one who has dominated Superpole all season long – Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes.
Sykes was fifth in the first Superpole session, fourth in the second and when it mattered most in Superpole 3 he shot to the top to earn his sixth pole position in eight races on the factory ZX-10R. In the process, Sykes broke the Superbike lap record at Aragon.
Sykes’ Superpole 3 time was the best of the weekend, his 1:56.552 the only sub-57 lap in the session and it put him .708 of a second clear of the factory Aprilia of championship leader Max Biaggi. Further proving the strength of the Aprilia in Aragon was Eugene Laverty, the Northern Irelander putting his RSV4 Factory third on the front row for tomorrow’s two races.
The front row will be filled by BMW’s Leon Haslam, the Brit 1.1 seconds off countryman Sykes.
Haslam’s teammate Marco Melandri will lead the second row, the Italian having led Superpole 2 before slipping down the order in the final session. Melandri, who also led this morning’s final timed session, will be joined there by Honda’s Jonathan Rea, defending World Champion Carlos Checa (who led Superpole 1) and ParkinGo MTC Racing Aprilia’s Chaz Davies.
Team Effenbert Libert Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli didn’t make it through to Superpole 3 and he will start ninth, besting BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Ayrton Badovini, Althea Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and Liberty Racing Team Effenbert’s Jakub Smrz.
American John Hopkins will start the race from 21st on the grid.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1:56.552
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:57.260
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1:57.592
4. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1:57.710
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1:57.491
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:57.708
7. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:58.018
8. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1:58.485
9. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1:58.073
10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1:58.249