24th career Superpole for Tom Sykes
The Briton added one more Pole Position
Magny-Cours (France) - The penultimate Tissot-Superpole of the season has gone to Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), courtesy of a circuit best lap of 1.36.366 after a fast and furious session saw the top spot change repeatedly in the final minutes.
The Briton added one more Pole Position, his 5th this year, to the impressive tally of 24 so far in his WSBK career and he is now looking to make the most of the two races, scheduled for tomorrow at Magny-Cours.
Alongside Sykes on the front row tomorrow will be Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) who kept his title hopes alive by making it onto the front row for the first time since the Portuguese Round.
The top three riders were awarded with their trophies by former WSBK regular rider, 2003 runner-up and two time race winner Ruben Xaus.
Row two comprises the second Ducati Superbike Team entry of Chaz Davies, and the Aprilia Racing duo of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri. Given the points situation, Guintoli will need two good starts in order not to lose too much ground from championship Sykes in the early stages of the two races.
The best classified EVO rider was Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia) who will start both 21 lap races from 13th on the grid. The Frenchman narrowly missing out on moving into Superpole 2.
EVO championship leader David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) rode through the pain barrier after an FP4 tumble to salvage 7th in Superpole 1 meaning a 17th position grid slot for both races tomorrow.
Fabien Foret (Team Pedercini) will begin his final WSBK races from 20th on the grid.
In Superpole 1 it was Frenchman Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), 7th,who set the fastest time during the session, moving into the final 15 minute shoot-out along with Max Neukirchner (3C Racing Team) who also progressed joining the already seeded top ten riders after FP1, FP2 and FP3.
Tom Sykes: “I always ride a little bit reserved with a race tyre in Superpole, especially with the one bike rule in place. My target today was very clear, however. It is always to get onto the front row at every race, but today I wanted to go for full glory. As soon as I put the qualifying tyre in the Ninja ZX-10R was working brilliantly. All of a sudden we were able to put the bike where we wanted on the track a bit more easily and the new best lap time came relatively nicely. I was pushing, of course, and the bike was moving, but at the same time it was working well. Because of that I am very happy.”
Jonathan Rea: “I’m really satisfied with our work because the team has given me a great package here that I can ride really hard. I feel that in the race we’re more prepared because the CBR is quite easy to ride and changing direction here is really good. I tried to give it a good go on the second lap and was able to finish on the front row. It’s very important to be on the front row because the hairpin is a big bottleneck for the riders on the first lap. Hop efully I can be at the front of that and set myself up for a good rhythm in the races.”
1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'36.366 average 164.784 kph; 2. Giugliano (Ducati) 1'36.593; 3. Rea (Honda) 1'36.906; 4. Davies (Ducati) 1'37.021; 5. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'37.184; 6. Melandri (Aprilia) 1'37.190; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'37.215; 8. Lowes (Suzuki) 1'37.270; 9. Laverty (Suzuki) 1'37.407; 10. Haslam (Honda) 1'37.575; 11. Fores (Ducati) 1'37.673; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1'37.877; 13. Barrier (BMW); 14. Elias (Aprilia); 15. Lanzi (Ducati); 16. Canepa (Ducati); 17. Salom (Kawasaki); 18. Corti (MV Agusta); 19. Morais (Kawasaki); 20. Foret (Kawasaki).
Ducati Superbike Team conclude day one of practice at Magny-Cours in first position
Guintoli wins Race 1 and narrows the gap to championship lead