Tom Sykes took his sixth Superpole victory from eight attempts after another astonishing performance at Aragon this afternoon. Yet again, the Kawasaki rider made it through the two knockout sessions with the minimum of fuss before upping his pace dramatically in the final session.
The factory Aprilias of Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty were the nearest competition to him but the championship leader was a full seven tenths back in second while his Irish teammate couldn't get within a second of pole. Leon Haslam will complete the front row after pipping BMW partner Marco Melandri to fourth.
Sykes was ecstatic with his latest Tissot Superpole success and is desperate to translate his Saturday dominance into victory on Sunday, something which he's struggled to do so far this year.
“Another pole position and it is fantastic. I wish we got points for pole position but we don't. I think the forecast is for weather conditions to be a little bit cooler tomorrow which will make the racing faster for everybody. We will see what happens, because there were five guys who are looking fairly strong. We worked hard in the tests here last weekend. Kawasaki worked hard and my crew chief worked me very hard and we did the equivalent of around nine race distances in total over the three days, so hopefully that will pay off tomorrow and we can silence a few people. It was nice to win another Tissot watch for Superpole today. I have one in every location now, but I am always late anyway, so that idea has not quite worked out!”
After dominating the qualifying sessions, Marco Melandri will have been disappointed with fifth, especially given the 1.232s gap to Sykes. The Italian will be joined on the second row tomorrow by Jonathan Rea who needed a last gasp effort to avoid elimination in SP2. Carlos Checa and Chaz Davies completed the top eight.
Rea's late flyer in SP2 eliminated Sylvain Guintoli with Effenbert Liberty Ducati teammate Jakub Smrz also missing the cut. The pair will line-up ninth and twelfth respectively with Ayrton Badovini and Davide Giugliano between them. Leon Camier's Superpole session ended at the first hurdle with the Briton ending up fourteenth but at least he made it that far, with Crescent Fixi Suzuki teammate John Hopkins failing to get inside the top 16 in qualifying, finishing down in 21st.
2012 eni Superbike World Championship
Round 8: Motorland Aragon (Superpole Result)
|Pos||Rider||Bike||Team||Lap Time (Gap)|
|1||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1:56.552|
|2||Max Biaggi||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||1:57.260 (+0.708)|
|3||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team||1:57.592 (+1.040)|
|4||Leon Haslam||BMW||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||1:57.710 (+1.158)|
|5||Marco Melandri||BMW||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||1:57.784 (+1.232)|
|6||Jonathan Rea||Honda||Honda World Superbike Team||1:58.033 (+1.481)|
|7||Carlos Checa||Ducati||Althea Racing||1:58.243 (+1.691)|
|8||Chaz Davies||Aprilia||ParkinGO MTC Racing||1:58.485 (+1.933)|
|9||Sylvain Guintoli||Ducati||Liberty Racing Team Effenbert||1:58.073 (SP2)|
|10||Ayrton Badovini||BMW||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||1:58.249 (SP2)|
|11||Davide Giugliano||Ducati||Althea Racing||1:58.264 (SP2)|
|12||Jakub Smrz||Ducati||Liberty Racing Team Effenbert||1:59.160 (SP2)|
|13||Michel Fabrizio||BMW||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||1:58.534 (SP1)|
|14||Leon Camier||Suzuki||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||1:58.660 (SP1)|
|15||Loris Baz||Kawasaki||Kawasaki Racing Team||1:59.302 (SP1)|
|16||Lorenzo Zanetti||Ducati||PATA Racing||1:59.549 (SP1)|
|17||David Salom||Kawasaki||Team Pedercini||1:59.474 (Q2)|
|18||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda||Honda World Superbike Team||1:59.686 (Q2)|
|19||Niccolo Canepa||Ducati||Red Devils Roma||1:59.811 (Q2)|
|20||Maxime Berger||Ducati||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||2:00.164 (Q2)|
|21||John Hopkins||Suzuki||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||2:00.245 (Q2)|
|22||Leandro Mercado||Kawasaki||Team Pedercini||2:00.975 (Q2)|
|23||Norino Brignola||BMW||Grillini Progea Superbike Team||2:03.823 (Q2)|