Sykes Shines Under the Lights at Losail


Tom Sykes completed another season of Superpole supremacy by claiming his sixth pole position of 2015 under the floodlights in Qatar. The Yorkshireman led a Kawasaki 1-2 ahead of world champion Jonathan Rea with Ducati substitute Xavi Fores producing a stand-out display to join the ZX-10Rs on the front row.

On a circuit which served Aprilia so well in the final round last season, Jordi Torres headed into Superpole among the favourites having topped free practice. The Spaniard remained competitive when SP2 got underway, trading fastest times with Sykes, but the switch to qualifying tyres saw the leaderboard shaken up.

Leon Haslam was the first of the leading contenders to register a lap time on the softer rubber and his 1:57.449 was enough to briefly lift him onto provisional pole. Unfortunately for him, his joy only lasted a matter of seconds as Chaz Davies cut the beam four hundredths quicker but Rea soon put their laps into perspective with the first sub-1:57 lap of the evening.

Fores had locked himself onto the rear wheel of the new world champion and leapt up to second but Sykes would have the final say, setting a 1:56.821 with the final lap of the night to snatch pole from under the nose of his teammate. Fores’ reward for his clever tactics was a first ever front row start with his teammate, Chaz Davies, forced to line up fourth.

The Aprilias of Haslam and Torres will start fifth and sixth after the Spaniard failed to maximise the grip available from the qualifying tyres while Suzuki pairing of Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet also line up together in seventh and eighth respectively. Michael van der Mark starts ninth for PATA Honda ahead of Leandro Mercado but Matteo Baiocco will be unable to take up his eleventh place grid slot after an injury sustained in an SP2 crash.

 

PIRELLI QATAR ROUND: SUPERPOLE CLASSIFICATION

PosRiderConstructorTeamTime 
166. Tom SYKESKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:56.821SP2
265. Jonathan REAKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:56.997SP2
3112. Xavi FORESDucatiAruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:57.384SP2
47. Chaz DAVIESDucatiAruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:57.406SP2
591. Leon HASLAMApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:57.449SP2
681. Jordi TORRESApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:57.601SP2
722. Alex LOWESSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:57.638SP2
814. Randy DE PUNIETSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:57.644SP2
960. Michael VAN DER MARKHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:58.034SP2
1036. Leandro MERCADODucatiBarni Racing Team1:58.565SP2
1115. Matteo BAIOCCODucatiAlthea Racing1:58.741SP2
1244. David SALOMKawasakiTeam Pedercini1:59.289SP2
131. Sylvain GUINTOLIHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:58.768SP1
1459. Niccolo CANEPADucatiAlthea Racing1:58.941SP1
1586. Ayrton BADOVINIBMWBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:59.229SP1
162. Leon CAMIERMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse1:59.256SP1
1723. Christophe PONSSONKawasakiTeam Pedercini1:59.339SP1
1840. Roman RAMOSKawasakiTeam Go Eleven1:59.928SP1
1945. Gianluca VIZZIELLOKawasakiGrillini SBK Team2:01.565SP1
2075. Gabor RIZMAYERBMWBMW Team Toth2:02.827SP1
2148. Alex PHILLISKawasakiGrillini SBK Team2:03.535FP3
2210. Imre TOTHBMWBMW Team Toth2:03.851FP2