PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOLD & GOOSE
Tom Sykes led today’s first qualifying session for Sunday’s British round of the World Superbike Championship at Silverstone, the Kawasaki rider ending up .881 of a second ahead of Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier. Sykes, however, ended the afternoon session with a crash.
Sykes has 17 World Superbike pole positions to his credit, including his six Superpole wins this year.
The Brit, who also led the morning session with a 2:06.056, was the only rider to dip into the 2:05s with his 2:05.355 coming with some 12 minutes to go in qualifying session. Camier, who was also second best in the morning session, clicked off a 2:06.236 to lead the rest of the field – though just a few ticks less than a second behind Sykes.
Sykes’ lap was impressive compared to his competition, but he’s still off the World Superbike lap record – a 2:05.259 held by Cal Crutchlow from 2010. Take Sykes out of the equation and the gap between second and 10th is just .482 of a second.
Althea Racing Davide Giugliano was third fastest, the Italian clocking a 2:06.322 early in the session. The Aprilia man led most of the qualifier until Sykes took over at the 12-minute mark.
Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea was fourth fastest this afternoon, besting his teammate Leon Haslam – fresh off his victory in the Suzuka 8 Hour – by just .004 of a second.
Then came the first of the factory Aprilias with Eugene Laverty sixth. Sykes’ Kawasaki teammate Loris Baz was seventh with BMW factory rider Marco Melandri, the factory Aprilia of championship leader Sylvain Guintoli, and the second Fixi Crescent Suzuki of Jules Cluzel rounding out the top 10 on the first day.
Guintoli and Baz won the two World Superbike races at Silverstone last year.
World Superbike Qualifying 1 Results
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2:05.355
2. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 2:06.236
3. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 2:06.332
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 2:06.349
5. Leon Haslam (Honda) 2:06.353
6. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 2:06.539
7. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 2:06.553
8. Marco Melandri (BMW) 2:06.590
9. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 2:06.656
10. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 2:06.718