Hard-contested Superpole goes to Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 7th Tissot-Superpole of the season – the 18th of his career.

Istanbul (Turkey) - The eni FIM Superbike World Championship riders could enjoy a dry and sunny Tissot-Superpole at the Intercity Istanbul Park, after the rainy morning that had slowed down their work at the Turkish venue. Track conditions allowed riders to push to the limit, resulting in a significant improvement in terms of lap times.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) scored his 7th Tissot-Superpole of the season – the 18th of his career – after a thrilling finale that involved his main rival for the title Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). Sykes was the first rider to break into the 1'54s early in the final session, but the Frenchman tried his best to outperform the rival during his last quick-lap attempt, eventually finishing behind the Brit for just 0.022 seconds.

Tom Sykes: “I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive, the team great job and we went in the right direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli will be beside me on the grid. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”

Sylvain Guintoli: “We were really close to pole, but during my last lap I did a few small mistakes that probably cost me those 22 thousands of a second. It would have been good to be on pole, but the most important thing is to start the races from the front row. I felt immediately at ease on this track and I think we can target some good results tomorrow. As I said the battle for the title has entered the crucial stage, I'm expecting two exciting races on a track that's pretty much new to everyone."

The two riders will be joined tomorrow, on the first row of the grid, by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who got the better of Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). The Irishman could not repeat the 1'54.9 set in Superpole 2, a time that would have helped him to finish in the top-3.

WSBK debutant Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) put up an impressive performance by ending up in fifth place - and only a 0.674 seconds gap from pole-sitter - ahead of Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet). Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike and Aussie Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) completed the top-10.

FIM Superbike World Championship

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Eugene Laverty , Marco Melandri , Tom Sykes , Leon Haslam , Toni Elias , Sylvain Guintoli , Chaz Davies , Davide Giugliano , Mark Aitchison , Jules Cluzel
Article type Qualifying report
Tags guintoli, istanbul, kawasaki, sykes, wsbk