Magny-Cours WSBK: Sykes denies Rea pole with lap record

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Magny-Cours WSBK: Sykes denies Rea pole with lap record
By: Lewis Duncan , Journalist
Sep 29, 2018, 9:14 AM

Tom Sykes snatched World Superbike Magny-Cours pole away from Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea with a new lap record.

World champion-elect Rea held top spot for almost the entirety of the second Superpole session a Ducati and was 0.9s clear of the field before Sykes usurped him with his final effort.

Rea was four tenths faster than anyone else after his first lap on race rubber with a 1m36.726s, though Sykes was able to keep the Ulsterman honest by going just two tenths slower moments later.

First out on circuit on qualifying rubber, Rea demolished Sykes' old lap record with a 1m35.843s, which put him almost a second clear of everyone else and saw him retreat to pitlane for the closing moments.

Milwaukee Aprilia's Lorenzo Savadori proved Rea's closest challenger as the session entered its dying seconds, but was some eight tenths shy.

However, Sykes began to light up the timing screens on his final Q-tyre lap, pulling back several hundredths on his KRT stablemate through the first three sectors.

Sykes maintained his advantage across the line to go 0.147s clear with a 1m35.696s to claim his fifth pole of the 2018 season.

Savadori qualified on the front row in third despite smashing his bike to bits in a heavy FP4 crash this morning, while Barni Racing's Xavi Fores was top Ducati runner at the head of row two in fourth.

Alex Lowes will launch from fifth on the first of the Yamahas, with Chaz Davies in sixth heading sister Aruba Ducati of Michael Ruben Rinaldi – who also crashed in FP4 – while Marco Melandri could only muster 12th.

Home hero Loris Baz put his Althea BMW eighth, with SP1 graduates Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leon Camier sandwiching the Yamaha of Michael van der Mark.

On pole two weeks ago in Portugal, Milwaukee Aprilia's Eugene Laverty was caught out in the closing moments of SP1 by late improvements from Camier and Razgatlioglu.

Opting against a final run the final minutes, Laverty will have to start race one from 13th, with the sister Honda of Jake Gagne alongside him after the American missed out on progressing to SP2 by just two tenths.

Yonny Hernandez's Pedercini replacement Jeremy Guarnoni will start from 19th on his customer ZX-10RR, while fellow French rider and wildcard Matthieu Lussiana is a doubt for race one, having encountered yet more technical issues with his Dreamteamcompany Aprilia in Superpole which left him unable to set a laptime.

Session results

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap km/h
1 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1'35.696   165.937
2 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'35.843 0.147 165.683
3 32 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 1'36.564 0.868 164.446
4 12 Spain Xavi Fores Ducati 1'36.613 0.917 164.362
5 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes Yamaha 1'36.765 1.069 164.104
6 7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies Ducati 1'36.954 1.258 163.784
7 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati 1'36.999 1.303 163.708
8 76 France Loris Baz BMW 1'37.055 1.359 163.614
9 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu Kawasaki 1'37.103 1.407 163.533
10 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark Yamaha 1'37.239 1.543 163.304
11 2 United Kingdom Leon Camier Honda 1'37.398 1.702 163.038
12 33 Italy Marco Melandri Ducati 1'37.595 1.899 162.709
13 50 Ireland Eugene Laverty Aprilia 1'37.617 1.921 162.672
14 45 United States Jake Gagne Honda 1'37.747 2.051 162.456
15 81 Spain Jordi Torres MV Agusta 1'38.129 2.433 161.823
16 36 Argentina Leandro Mercado Kawasaki 1'38.176 2.480 161.746
17 99 United States PJ Jacobsen Honda 1'38.878 3.182 160.597
18 40 Spain Roman Ramos Kawasaki 1'39.188 3.492 160.095
19 11 France Jeremy Guarnoni Kawasaki 1'39.490 3.794 159.610
20 96 Czech Republic Jakub Smrz Yamaha 1'39.713 4.017 159.253
21 121 France Matthieu Lussiana Aprilia      
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