Second Place Start for Sykes Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport rider Tom Sykes recorded his best qualifying position of the season when he just missed out on pole in today's qualifying session for round eight of the Bennetts British ...
Second Place Start for Sykes
Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport rider Tom Sykes recorded his best qualifying position of the season when he just missed out on pole in today's qualifying session for round eight of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park meaning he will start from second place on the grid.
Riding the VK backed Dunlop shod Honda Fireblade, the 21 year old Yorkshireman held provisional pole for much of the 50 minute session and was looking good to claim the team's second pole position of the season but was edged out in the closing stages by the on-form Jonathan Rea.
Nevertheless the performance bodes well for the Superbike rookie who just missed out on a podium position last time out at Knockhill and is aiming to rectify that situation this weekend.
Meanwhile for team mate Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, the session proved problematic when he slid off his machine early in the session. The 30 year old Londoner returned to the garage and took out his spare machine but an electrical problem meant he had to sit out much of the session as his number one bike was repaired. With a couple of quick laps late in the session, Byrne managed to post eighth fastest time and as a result will start from the second row of the grid in tomorrow's two 17-lap races.
Tom Sykes: "I'm happy enough with that and I felt quite comfortable. I went back out on the last qualifier and thought I could get into the 1m34's but I struggled on the first flying lap with traffic and when I got a clear track at the end, the chequered flag came out. It's another front row start and we've got a good race set up for tomorrow whether it's wet or dry, although I hope it's dry. "
Shane Byrne: "I have one bike working really well and one bike which is good, but not quite as good as the other but I keep crashing the better one! I managed five laps in the session this morning and just three laps in qualifying before I crashed. The bike was working mega this morning. In qualifying I went back out on the number two bike but had a problem with that so I had to wait for the boys to fix the number one machine and all credit to them. After the day we've endured, to end up on the second row is not ideal, but at least it's something and thanks to the team.
Paul Bird: "It was an action packed qualifying session that's for sure! It was brilliant for Tom but Shakey hasn't had much luck, although hopefully he's got all his bad luck out of the way now. Both of them have got a good race set up so we hope to be up at the front tomorrow."
The first of the Bennetts British Superbike races gets underway at 13.50 with the second one screened live on ITV1 at 16.10.