Photography by Gold & Goose
Defending World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes was up to his old tricks Saturday at the Aragon round of the WSBK Series. The Kawasaki ace earned his first Superpole of the season with a lap of 1:56.479 around the 3.3-mile Motorland Aragón. Sykes just nipped his Kawasaki teammate Loris Baz, who turned a 1:56.675. Rounding out the front row will be series leader Sylvain Guintoli, who turned a 1:56.769.
It was a closely fought qualifying session, with the top seven riders clumped within 6-10ths of a second of one another.
For Sykes this marked his third consecutive pole at Aragon and it earned him a milestone 20th-career World Superbike pole. He is fourth on the all-time World Superbike pole wins list behind only Troy Corser, Troy Bayliss and Carl Fogarty.
In a restarted Superpole 1, after Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) suffered a blown engine on the front straight that oiled the track, Toni Elias (Red Devils Aprilia) and Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) were the fastest within the session and joined the already seeded riders for the final 15-minute shoot-out, in what was a fast and furious fight on track for top spot.
At the end of the session it was Sykes that just clung to secure Superpole ahead of teammate Baz.
In Sunday’s races, row two will be headed by Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), who will be joined by Jonathan Rea (PATA Honda World Superbike Team) and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team)
After making it through into Superpole 2, Leon Camier (BMW Motorrad Italia) was the leading EVO category rider, qualifying 11th overall in his first race with his new team.
Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies also fell in the session, without injury.
World Superbike Round 2 Qualifying from Aragon
1 1 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’56.479
2 76 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’56.675
3 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’56.769
4 34 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’56.825
5 65 J. REA GBR PATA Honda World Superbike Honda CBR1000RR 1’56.972
6 7 C. DAVIES GBR Ducati Superbike Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’56.977
7 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’57.063
8 58 E. LAVERTY IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’57.736
9 22 A. LOWES GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’57.975
10 24 T. ELIAS ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’58.180