Tom Rocks To Front Row Start In only his fourth ride for the Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Team, Huddersfield flyer Tom Sykes secured his career first Superbike front row start with a terrific performance at Oulton Park today. In mixed ...
Tom Rocks To Front Row Start
In only his fourth ride for the Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Team, Huddersfield flyer Tom Sykes secured his career first Superbike front row start with a terrific performance at Oulton Park today.
In mixed weather conditions which saw the 50-minute qualifying session for round four of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship start in damp conditions, the threatened rain didn't materialise and the 21 year old Yorkshireman timed it to perfection as he posted fourth fastest time in the dying minutes of the session.
Meanwhile team mate Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will start tomorrow's two 17-lappers from row two of the grid having held on to a provisional front row start for much of the session but in the end had to settle for sixth position aboard the VK backed Honda Fireblade.
Tom Sykes: "That's more like it! I thought I'd thrown it away on my flying lap when I got held up by another rider and had to roll it off to try and get a third lap and although I'd had the best out of the rear tyre, I stuck my neck out and it was spot on. I'm really happy with a front row start, the team has worked hard and I'm really confident with my race set up so we're hoping to be up there tomorrow."
Shane Byrne: "There wasn't a single lap where I didn't have to pass someone. It's a difficult balance between stuffing someone up the inside and losing time because of it and backing off a little bit and making sure you get a good run on the others, but unfortunately I didn't get either of those today so I'm really frustrated. I hope we can get a good start and get away at the front tomorrow."
Paul Bird: "Tom's qualifying was excellent especially given that it's his first time here on a Superbike, it's one of the hardest circuits and I'm still trying to work out how he got three laps out of his qualifier! Tom has a mature head on his young shoulders and that backed up by a good second row from Shakey puts us in good stead for tomorrow's races."
The first 17-lap race gets underway at 13.00 followed by the second one at 16.10 which is live on ITV4.
1, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1m35.430s, 2, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1m35.594s, 3, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 1m35.922s, 4, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 1m35.991s, 5, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1m36.021s, 6, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 1m36.095s, 7, Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) 1m36.145s, 8, Leon Camier (Honda) 1m36.328s, 9, Karl Harris (Honda) 1m36.841s, 10, Dean Thomas (Suzuki) 1m36.855s.