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Brno WSBK: Sykes smashes lap record for pole

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Brno WSBK: Sykes smashes lap record for pole
By:
Jun 9, 2018, 9:35 AM

Tom Sykes smashed the Brno World Superbike lap record to snatch a 45th-career pole position, denying Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea in the closing stages.

Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing
Marco Melandri, Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team
Alex Lowes, Pata Yamaha
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia
Yonny Hernandez, Pedercini Racing

Donington double winner Michael van der Mark led the early stages of the Superpole shoot-out session on his Yamaha with a 1m59.189s, though this was quickly usurped by Rea with a 1m58.881s.

Sykes leapt to second on his race tyre run, though some three tenths of a second back on his KRT stablemate.

Rea lit up the timing screens on his qualifying tyre lap in the closing stages of SP2, and stormed to a 1m57.885s, while Althea BMW's Loris Baz used the Kawasaki rider as a reference to move up to second in his bid for back-to-back front row starts.

Ducati's Marco Melandri put Rea's provisional pole lap under immense threat, and missed out by just 0.014 seconds to slot into second.

Sykes found a fraction more on his final lap, and was 0.098s up on his teammate's best as he headed into the final sector.

The Yorkshireman – who took pole on WSBK's last visit to Brno in 2012  – had a storming final sector and found a further two tenths to better his former lap record with a 1m57.687s.

Melandri's late surge dumped Baz off of the front row, and further improvements meant the French rider fall further down the order, with Alex Lowes (Yamaha) jumping up to fourth at the end ahead of Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) and van der Mark.

Lorenzo Savadori's 1m59.300s put him into seventh on the second Aprilia, with Baz ending up eighth, while Chaz Davies (Ducati) and Leon Camier (Honda) completed the top 10.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati) was three tenths off a top 10 place in 11th, while SP1 graduate Yonny Hernandez – who returns to action this weekend having missed the UK round with visa issues – secured his best qualifying result of his maiden WSBK campaign in 12th.

Xavi Fores occupied one of the SP2 progression places in the early part of SP1, but during his final push in the closing stages of the session Hernandez tucked in behind him.  

With Hernandez improving to a 1m59.605s as a result, Fores' 1m59.854s was only good enough for 13th, with Roman Ramos and Toprak Razgatlioglu completing the top 15.

Qualifying results:

Pos.#RiderBikeTimeGapkm/h
1 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 1'57.687   165.275
2 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 1'57.885 0.198 164.998
3 33 italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 1'57.899 0.212 164.978
4 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 1'58.172 0.485 164.597
5 50 ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 1'58.187 0.500 164.576
6 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 1'58.223 0.536 164.526
7 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 1'58.300 0.613 164.419
8 76 france Loris Baz  BMW 1'58.389 0.702 164.295
9 7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 1'59.011 1.324 163.436
10 2 united_kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 1'59.041 1.354 163.395
11 21 italy  Michael Ruben Rinaldi  Ducati 1'59.346 1.659 162.978
12 68 colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 1'59.508 1.821 162.757
13 12 spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 1'59.854 2.167 162.287
14 40 spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 1'59.989 2.302 162.104
15 54 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 2'00.107 2.420 161.945
16 36 argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 2'00.391 2.704 161.563
17 99 united_states PJ Jacobsen  Honda 2'00.437 2.750 161.501
18 81 spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 2'00.672 2.985 161.187
19 45 united_states Jake Gagne  Honda 2'00.845 3.158 160.956
20 37 czech_republic Ondrej Jezek  Yamaha 2'02.766 5.079 158.438
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About this article

Series World Superbike
Event Brno
Location Brno Circuit
Drivers Tom Sykes
Teams Kawasaki Racing
Author Lewis Duncan