Qatar WSBK: Sykes beats Rea to take final pole of 2015

Tom Sykes secured the final pole position of the 2015 World Superbike season with a stunning last-gasp lap under the floodlights in Qatar.

Sykes edged out Kawasaki teammate and newly crowned champion Jonathan Rea by 0.176s with his final flyer, a 1m56.821s – the fastest lap of the Losail track of the weekend by some distance.

Joining the two Kawasaki men on the front row is Ducati replacement rider Xavi Fores, who was half a second off Sykes’ searing pace but two hundredths ahead of teammate Chaz Davies.

Leon Haslam was best of the Aprilias in fifth place ahead of teammate and practice pacesetter Jordi Torres, with the Suzukis of Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet next up in seventh and eighth.

It was a disappointing session for Honda, with Michael van der Mark the Japanese marque’s best performer in ninth ahead of Leandro Mercado (Ducati), Matteo Baiocco (Ducati) and SP1 pacestter David Salom (Kawasaki).

Baiocco also crashed later on in the session and has been subsequently diagnosed with multiple foot fractures. He will thus be forced to miss tomorrow's races.

Outgoing Honda rider Sylvain Guintoli failed to get his bike past SP1, retiring to the garage early in the session before getting inside the top two late on – only to be demoted by Salom, who progressed into SP2 along with Mercado.

Pos. Rider Bike Time Gap
 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1'56.821  
 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'56.997 0.176
 Xavi Fores Ducati 1'57.384 0.563
 Chaz Davies Ducati 1'57.406 0.585
 Leon Haslam Aprilia 1'57.449 0.628
 Jordi Torres Aprilia 1'57.601 0.780
 Alex Lowes Suzuki 1'57.638 0.817
 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1'57.644 0.823
 Michael van der Mark Honda 1'58.034 1.213
10   Leandro Mercado Ducati 1'58.565 1.744
11   Matteo Baiocco Ducati 1'58.741 1.920
12   David Salom Kawasaki 1'59.289 2.468
13   Sylvain Guintoli Honda 1'58.768 1.947
14   Niccolo Canepa Ducati 1'58.941 2.120
15   Ayrton Badovini BMW 1'59.229 2.408
16   Leon Camier MV Agusta 1'59.256 2.435
17   Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki 1'59.339 2.518
18   Roman Ramos Kawasaki 1'59.928 3.107
19   Gianluca Vizziello Kawasaki 2'01.565 4.744
20   Gabor Rizmayer BMW 2'02.827 6.006
21   Alex Phillis Kawasaki 2'03.535 6.714
22   Imre Toth BMW 2'03.851 7.030

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Losail
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Tom Sykes , Chaz Davies , Jonathan Rea , Xavi Forés
Teams Kawasaki Racing
Article type Qualifying report