Laguna Seca WSBK: Davies beats Sykes to pole by 0.015s

Chaz Davies snatched his first World Superbike pole of the season by just 0.015 seconds from Tom Sykes for race one of the US round at Laguna Seca.Q

Friday practice pacesetter Jonathan Rea set the early pace on race tyres in SP2 with a 1m23.257s, though the Kawasaki rider was usurped by Milwaukee Aprilia's Eugene Laverty with a 1m23.075s.

Laverty set the qualifying tyre benchmark at 1m22.718s in the closing minutes of the session, with Yamaha's Alex Lowes just 0.011s adrift in second.

Davies, who topped FP4 earlier on Saturday, took over top spot with just under a minute remaining with a 1m22.282s, with Sykes slotting into second by just 0.015s.

The top three were all going faster again on their final laps, but yellow flags for Loris Baz's crash at the Corkscrew denied anyone the chance to improve, securing Davies his first pole since the Imola round last year.

Sykes remained ahead of KRT stablemate Rea to round out the front row, while Laverty headed row two from Lowes and Lorenzo Savadori on the second Aprilia.

Leon Camier took top Honda honours in seventh, two tenths clear of Barni Racing's Xavi Fores on the customer Panigale. SP1 graduate Michael van der Mark put his R1 ninth.

Marco Melandri was caught out by traffic on his initial race tyre laps, and was unable to improve on 10th in the closing stages of SP2 thanks to Baz's crash.

MV Agusta's Jordi Torres was just two hundredths shy of the Ducati man in 11th, while Baz, who also came through SP1, will start 12th having failed to set a time in SP2.

Toprak Razgatlioglu came close to progressing through to SP2 on his Puccetti Kawasaki after setting session-fastest first and second splits, but missed out by just half a tenth in 13th.

Leandro Mercado briefly led the times in SP1 in the opening stages, but will start from 14th ahead of debutant and MotoAmerica wildcard Josh Herrin, who was unable to better 15th after encountering an issue with his Attack Performance Yamaha in the second part of SP1.

Fellow American's Jake Gagne and PJ Jacobsen were 16th and 19th respectively, with rookie Karel Hanika – who replaces Ondrej Jezek at Guandalini Yamaha this weekend - 17th for his first WSBK race.

Qualifying results:

Pos.#RiderBikeTimeGap
1 7 united_kingdom Chaz Davies  Ducati 1'22.282  
2 66 united_kingdom Tom Sykes  Kawasaki 1'22.297 0.015
3 1 united_kingdom Jonathan Rea  Kawasaki 1'22.359 0.077
4 50 ireland Eugene Laverty  Aprilia 1'22.636 0.354
5 22 united_kingdom Alex Lowes  Yamaha 1'22.729 0.447
6 32 italy Lorenzo Savadori  Aprilia 1'22.919 0.637
7 2 united_kingdom Leon Camier  Honda 1'23.088 0.806
8 12 spain Xavi Fores  Ducati 1'23.244 0.962
9 60 netherlands Michael van der Mark  Yamaha 1'23.253 0.971
10 33 italy Marco Melandri  Ducati 1'23.302 1.020
11 81 spain Jordi Torres  MV Agusta 1'23.321 1.039
12 76 france Loris Baz  BMW no time -
13 54 turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu  Kawasaki 1'23.776 (Q1) 1.494
14 36 argentina Leandro Mercado  Kawasaki 1'24.105 1.823
15 57 united_states  Josh Herrin Yamaha 1'24.182 1.900
16 45 united_states Jake Gagne  Honda 1'24.291 2.009
17 68 colombia Yonny Hernandez  Kawasaki 1'24.382 2.100
18 98 czech_republic Karel Hanika  Yamaha 1'24.746 2.464
19 99 united_states PJ Jacobsen  Honda 1'24.802 2.520
20 40 spain Roman Ramos  Kawasaki 1'24.836 2.554
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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Laguna Seca
Track Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Drivers Chaz Davies
Teams Ducati Team
Article type Qualifying report