Photography by Gold & Goose
Tom Sykes injured his right wrist in a crash at Sepang, but while the wrist may be far from healed Sykes can still twist the throttle and proved he has enough in reserve with his riding and his Kawasaki to put in fast laps when needed. Saturday in World Superbike Superpole at Misano, Sykes ran his Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike to pole, his 21st, with a time of 1:34.883. Sykes was only rider to dip into the 1:34s.
It will be three different brands on the front row. Sharing the front row for Sunday’s races will be Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and Aprilia ace Sylvain Guintoli, wearing the retro Aprilia livery to celebrate its first-ever World Championship race win at Misano back in 1987.
Kawasaki’s second rider, Loris Baz, will head up the second row, qualifying fourth. He’ll be joined on that row by Marco Melandri and Toni Elias, who made it into SP2 after topping the SP1 session.
Baz was fastest early in the SP2 session on the Kawasaki. Then it was Giugliano moving to the top with a 1:35.950, followed by Guintoli, Davies and Melandri.
In the second segment of Superpole 2 Giugliano blistered the track with a 1:35.079 on the Ducati to better the top time. With just about a minute to go Sykes broke through into the 34s with a 1:34.883 to go to P1. That time would prove to be unbeatable.
“To be honest it’s been a difficult weekend,” Sykes admitted. “I was surprised on the first practice how kind of out of shape my hand and wrist was with the injuries from Sepang. We’ve made quite a lot of changes to the bike to adapt, here with all right handers. It’s very difficult on trail braking, but now we’re finally coming close to the money and over race distance I feel very confident. As soon as we put on the Pirelli qualifying tire the Zx-10R was magical, so I really enjoyed the lap and to take the lap record from one of my racing heroes, Troy Corser is a proud moment for me.”
Corser’s record from 2010 was a 1:35.001.
Italy’s own Niccolo Canepa was the fastest EVO rider on the Althea Ducati. He ran 10th. Leon Haslam crashed in the session, but appeared to be OK.
WSBK Misano Superpole qualifying results – June 21, 2014
1. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 34.883s
2. Davide Giugliano ITA Ducati SBK 1199 Panigale R 1m 35.079s
3. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 35.106s
4. Loris Baz FRA Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 35.254s
5. Marco Melandri ITA Aprilia Racing RSV4 1m 35.316s
6. Toni Elias ESP Red Devils Roma Aprilia RSV4 1m 35.404s
7. Chaz Davies GBR Ducati SBK 1199 Panigale R 1m 35.602s
8. Jonathan Rea GBR PATA Honda CBR1000RR 1m 35.675s
9. Eugene Laverty IRL Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 36.043s
10. Niccolo Canepa ITA Althea Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1m 36.404s (E)
11. Alex Lowes GBR Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 1m 36.489s
12. Leon Haslam GBR PATA Honda CBR1000RR 1m 36.515s
13. David Salom ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1m 36.843s (E)
14. Matteo Baiocco ITA Grandi Corse Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1m 36.931s (E)
15. Ayrton Badovini ITA Bimota Alstare BB3 1m 37.038s (E)
16. Claudio Corti ITA MV Agusta RC F4RR 1m 37.351s
17. Sylvain Barrier FRA BMW Italia S1000RR 1m 37.499s (E)
18. Ivan Goi ITA Barni Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1m 37.540s (E)
19. Sheridan Morais RSA IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 37.807s (E)
20. Fabien Foret FRA MAHI Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 38.008s (E)
21. Christian Iddon GBR Bimota Alstare BB3 1m 38.170s (E)
22. Jeremy Guarnoni FRA MRS Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 38.308s (E)
25. Riccardo Russo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 38.402s (E)
23. Alessandro Andreozzi ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 38.850s (E)
24. Bryan Staring AUS IRON BRAIN Kawasaki ZX-10R 1m 39.412s (E)
26. Imre Toth HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR 1m 40.239s
28. Aaron Yates USA Team Hero EBR 1190RX 1m 40.424s
27. Peter Sebestyen HUN Team Toth BMW S1000RR 1m 40.994s (E)
29. Geoff May USA Team Hero EBR 1190RX 1m 41.176s
30. Michael Savary SUI Dream Team MV Agusta F4RR 1m 43.187s