Tom Sykes took full advantage of the wet conditions at Misano to go quickest in the Superpole session for tomorrow’s races in San Marino.
The Kawasaki rider admitted he wasn’t a contender for pole but revelled in the slippery conditions to edge out championship leader Carlos Checa with Jakub Smrz in third. Marco Melandri will start from the outside of the front row.
The Briton revealed that he was struggling to optimise the ZX-10R in dry conditions and praised the team for making the correct calls in the changeable Superpole session.
“That just makes it a little bit sweeter for me, having struggled to get a good dry set-up at some points this weekend. I took this pole in exactly the same conditions as last year at Imola. I want to give massive credit to Kawasaki Racing and Paul Bird Motorsport, because in those conditions we have a strong electronics package and that helped us today. Conditions we so slippery and we found the maximum. Tomorrow is another day but I am optimistic. I want to get a good start and go as fast as I can for 24 laps. I want to have a top six again, like in America, and today's Superpole win was just a kind of added extra.”
Joan Lascorz will start 12th after being knocked out in Superpole 2 and had contrasting feelings to his teammate and would prefer the dry weather to return tomorrow.
“In dry conditions in the morning session today I set a good lap time but I was not as comfortable as I wanted to be and I crashed at one point. I wanted to be faster and more comfortable while setting good lap times today, and I managed to set a good lap time this morning for sure. In the wet of Superpole I could not find the grip I wanted when I opened the throttle, so that held me back a little. I hope for two good races tomorrow, and dry weather.”
Chris Vermeulen will line up 22nd after failing to qualify for the Superpole shootout but is encouraged to see the gap closing to the frontrunners in dry weather performance.
“It has been good to come back to a race situation for all of us. We have a little bit of work to do with the bike and the times are so close here. We have improved every session and my gap to the front has been getting closer. It's only 1.6 to the front after dry qualifying but only a second up to fourth place. It is very tight and I just need a little bit more confidence. Kawasaki has been working hard and the improvements can be seen because of Joan and Tom, but we just need to get a base setting and an understanding of the bike from our side.”