Tom Sykes claims Malaysian Superpole

Torres and Guintoli on front row, Rea to start from seventh place on the grid.

The tenth Tissot-Superpole of the 2015 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season was claimed in emphatic style by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) after a tense Superpole 2 in 34 degrees heat at the 5.543km Sepang International Circuit.

By clocking in 2’03.240s, the fastest lap of the weekend so far, the British rider notched up his 28th career WorldSBK Pole Position and the fourth this year.

Guintoli is back on the front row

Alongside Sykes on the front row will be Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who claimed a second successive front row start after Laguna Seca and Sylvain Guintoli, who is back on the front row for the first time after joining the Pata Honda team.

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) improved with his final lap to claim fourth place, ahead of Lowes and Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati SBK Team).

Row three of the grid comprises series leader Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who seemed well on course to a potential pole position lap in the final stages before a mistake a Turn 9, Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing)

The fourth row will see Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing) and Randy de Puniet (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), while the previously declared unfit Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia), technically in twelfth place despite being ruled out of Superpole 2 after his FP4 crash, will not be on track at all tomorrow for the two WorldSBK races. His spot on the grid will be taken by Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike), who failed to make it through Superpole 1 despite the steps forward shown in the last free practice session.

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

“I had a great start to the weekend as my wife had just given birth to a baby daughter. On track we were a little bit behind to start with as we had a big schedule of work this weekend and had to compromise on it because of the session we missed yesterday in the rain. That is the same for everybody so overall I am relatively happy. We did what we wanted for Superpole and did what we wanted to do in FP4. The bike settings came good and I was really happy for that. I think tomorrow will be interesting and we do not look in bad shape, so I am relatively confident. The weather may be a bit hit and miss but we are set-up now for dry conditions.”

Jordi Torres #81 - Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
Tissot-Superpole 2nd

“This morning we were quite quick as we focused mainly on race distance as our first concern is to make sure to keep a good pace for the whole encounter. This will be our goal tomorrow morning during the warm up, we need to improve on this side of things. I was able to finally take the best out of the qualifying tyre thanks to the experience gained in the first nine rounds but I think I could have attacked even more on my flying lap. We will see how it goes tomorrow, my starting position is great and I hope my results will be as good.”

Sylvain Guintoli #1 - Pata Honda World Superbike
Tissot-Superpole 3rd

"It feels like we’ve found some outright pace, especially on new tyres, and we’ve also been able to compensate a little for a lack of speed. The qualifying tyre made a big difference for me but there’s more to it than that technical stuff, which can get a bit boring sometimes! It’s nice to have a result from all the hard work that everyone and Honda and Ten Kate is putting into this programme. We’ve done the homework for the race too, but it’s a difficult call. The race will be decided by who is riding best on the used tyres in the hot conditions, so it’ll be a very different exercise tomorrow."

Max Biaggi #3 - Aprilia Racing Team
Tissot-Superpole 4th

“I’m happy with how things went in the final stages, because it was then when we found that little step that hopefully will help us tomorrow in the two races; this shows how crucial is to make the most of every single session. Last week’s test, which was heavily affected by rain, cannot match the mental and physical preparation full-time riders have. I hope to do two good races tomorrow; I want to fight at the front of the field and in order to do so a good start will be extremely important.”

WorldSBK Sepang - Tissot-Superpole

1 - Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 2'03.240
2 - Jordi Torres Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils +0.270
3 - Sylvain Guintoli Pata Honda World Superbike +0.596


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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Sepang
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Sepang International Circuit
Drivers Max Biaggi , Tom Sykes , Sylvain Guintoli , Jordi Torres
Teams Honda World Superbike Team , Aprilia Racing Team , Kawasaki Racing
Article type Qualifying report