SBK Aragon: Sykes Opens Superpole Account


Tom Sykes stormed to his first Superpole victory of 2013 after outpacing Eugene Laverty in the latest instalment of their weekend-long rivalry at Aragon. The two have been the dominant riders since free practice got underway but Sykes would have the extra pace when it mattered to grab pole, something he achieved on nine occasions last year.

Laverty was the first to stake a claim in SP3, setting a 1:56.638 which was marginally slower than his outright fastest time in the second knockout session, and although that would be enough to hold of the BMW of Chaz Davies, Sykes found a further three tenths on his best attempt to depose the Irishman.

With such little time to return to the pits and fit new qualifying tyres, most riders called it quits after their first attempts but Sykes and Davies both fancied a second run. Time was against them though and with Sykes too concerned with the Welshman picking up his slipstream, he cost himself a chance of a flying lap. Davies stayed on it and was able to beat the chequered flag and looked to have the pace midway through the lap to sneak ahead of Laverty but a mistake at turn twelve put paid to that.

Championship co-leader Sylvain Guintoli heads an all-French second row in fourth after coming in almost a second slower than his teammate with Jules Cluzel and Loris Baz alongside while Davide Giugliano, Marco Melandri and Jonathan Rea will make up row three after showing their best form trying to make the final session in the first place.

Phillip Island polesitter Carlos Checa continued his miserable weekend with the injuries sustained in Australia clearly restricting him. The Spaniard made it one stage further than his Alstare Ducati teammate Ayrton Badovini who was knocked out in SP1 but tenth would be the maximum for Carlos with Leon Haslam and Max Neukirchner joining him in the drop zone.

Badovini will line up on row five after qualifying thirteenth with Michel Fabrizio falling back down to earth with a bump after his heroics in Australia, struggling to fourteenth. Alexander Lundh was the slowest rider in SP1 but he only inherited a place in the top fifteen due to the misfortune of Leon Camier who suffered a horrendous high side on Friday, forcing him to withdraw from the weekend.