File Photo by Gold & Goose
Davide Giugliano thought he had it. In the final minute of Friday’s qualifying Giugliano clocked a 1:35.615 on his Althea Racing Aprilia to go to the top of the charts at the World Superbike event at Moscow Raceway. But qualifying master Tom Sykes had another trick up his sleeve. Starting his final lap just before the checkered flag was thrown Sykes laid down a 1:35.567 on his factory Kawasaki ZX-10RR to top the day, leaving no time for other riders to respond.
It was a standout performance, even for Sykes, who has routinely been the fastest rider in most World Superbike sessions this season.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship is at Moscow Raceway for the eighth round of the season. The technical Russian circuit made its debut on the world scene last year, marking a new era in motorcycle racing.
Sykes enters the round as the first Kawasaki rider in 19 years to lead the World Superbike standings: in 1994, reigning Champion Scott Russell got back on top in the points after a double victory at Sugo (Japan), before eventually losing the title by the hands of Carl Fogarty.
On Saturday the British rider will also have the chance to equal Ben Spies' record of seven pole positions in a row, as Sykes has been victorious in every Tissot-Superpole from Round Two onwards this year.
Giugliano had to settle for second, but should take some comfort in the fact that he is less than a tenth of a second off Sykes’ time. Marco Melandri, who (along with Sykes) won a race in Moscow last year, was third on the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK entry. Carlos Checa look renewed and was fourth fastest, and Eugene Laverty rounded out the top five on Friday.
Former AMA road racer Chaz Davies was a disappointing 10th on the day.
Sylvain Guintoli, who led the championship standings until the last round, was on track Friday in spite of a painful dislocated collarbone suffered in a bicycle training accident. Guintoli was P14 on his factory Aprilia.
In World Supersport American former Moto2 star Kenny Noyes is standing in for an injured Sheridan Morais on the PTR Honda squad. Noyes was off the pace, qualifying 23rd out of 29 riders in Friday’s session. Kenan Sofuoglu topped the Supersport session.
The Russian track has completely unique characteristics. Just under four 2.5 miles long, Moscow Raceway stands out for an extremely curvy and flowing section followed by a long straight stretch.
Superpole coverage begins on Bein Sports Satruday morning at 6:45 am Eastern.
Moscow - FIM Superbike World Championship - Qualifying 1
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'35.567
2. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'35.615
3. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'35.891
4. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'35.921
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'35.964
6. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'36.013
7. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1'36.084
8. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'36.162
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'36.260
10. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'36.303
11. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'36.304
12. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1'36.585
13. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'36.787
14. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'36.820
15. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1'36.881
16. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'38.048
17. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1'39.079
18. Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'39.504