Sykes secures Donington Superpole for third time

Grid undecided until final moments as Rea and Giugliano get front row starts.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start tomorrow’s two UK Round, 23-lap races from Pole Position after taking today’s Tissot-Superpole in an enthralling 15 minute shoot-out that eventually saw the top 7 riders covered by 0.940s. For Sykes it was his 26th WorldSBK Pole Position – the third at Donington Park and the second of the season – clinched courtesy of a 1.27.071s lap time, which bettered his own previous outright circuit best lap dating back to 2013. The Briton also matched Troy Bayliss as the second all-time pole position winner in the series, both behind Troy Corser’s 43.

Rea will start from the middle of row 1

Sykes’ team mate and current championship leader Jonathan Rea will start from the middle of row 1, with Davide Giugliano ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team) lining up alongside him to complete the top-3 riders on the grid.

Row two comprises Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team), while Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished seventh ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati) and Pata Honda’s Sylvain Guintoli.

David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) qualified 10th, 11th, and 12th respectively.

Guintoli and Salom were the two riders who made it through Superpole 1 to join the already-seeded ten riders into the second session. Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) narrowly missed out on Superpole 2 as he was only half a tenth shy of fellow Spaniard David Salom’s time. The former Moto2 rider will start tomorrow’s races from the thirteenth spot on the grid.

Race 1 is scheduled to start at 12pm local time (GMT+1) tomorrow with Race 2 getting under way at 3pm.

Tom Sykes #66 - Kawasaki Racing Team - Tissot-Superpole - 1st

“We have made some good steps here, so I am happy. I am very impressed with the lap time, although I came over the line and saw 1’27.0 – and then kicked myself because it should have been a 1’26! Our race set-up seems acceptable as well. I have now gone joint second with Bayliss in Superpole wins now and that is nice. We definitely used the potential of our rear qualifier and for that I am happy. We did enough to make it count but tomorrow is another day and we have changing weather forecasts all the time. But we are in a good position.”

Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team - Tissot-Superpole – 2nd

“I was really happy with the Superpole lap. I made a few small mistakes but I honestly do not think I could have done any better. I was a little bit surprised to be second because we made a change for Superpole.The guys quickly changed the rear shock in the last minutes of Superpole.It worked well, so I think it sets us in a different way for tomorrow’s races. We are still lacking a little bit but the beauty is we get another crack in warm-up tomorrow. My team-mate is so strong here, to think about winning the race we still have to catch him.”

Davide Giugliano #34 - Racing - Ducati SBK - Tissot-Superpole – 3rd

“We put together a great Superpole and the front row is very important here because if you’re further back you risk getting caught up in traffic through turn one. My bike is performing very well with the race tyre and small changes that we made this morning proved positive, allowing me to be consistently fast over more laps but with a little less physical effort. It’s also good that after yesterday’s crash we have immediately resumed the pace and the work completed today has provided us with a better set-up for tomorrow’s races, so I’m very pleased.”

WorldSBK Donington Park - Tissot-Superpole

1 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 1'27.071
2 - Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +0.237
3 - Davide Giugliano Racing - Ducati Superbike Team +0.273


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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Donington Park
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Donington Park
Drivers Tom Sykes , Jonathan Rea , Davide Giugliano
Article type Qualifying report
Tags ducati, kawasaki, suzuki