SBK Brno: Sykes Makes It Seven In Superpole

Tom Sykes remains virtually unbeatable in the Superpole session as the Kawasaki rider took his seventh pole position from nine attempts this year. The session was delayed for over an hour when Davide Giugliano crashed heavily, dropping fluid all over the circuit but when it resumed, Sykes was straight back down to business.

The first session saw a major shock when Max Biaggi was eliminated as his strategy of holding back his qualifying tyres backfired. The championship leader was left stranded down in fourteenth and is now faced with a similar task to the one he coped with so admirably at Misano.

The drama in SP2 came Giugliano's Althea Ducati started to drop fluid, sending him as well as Ayrton Badovini, Jakub Smrz and David Salom into an inevitable accident. Giugliano was later apologetic after the incident.

“First of all I want to say that I'm really sorry for what happened and for the fact that it affected other riders' Superpole performance. I heard something hit my bike but I didn't immediately notice that I was losing oil. I hurt my left forearm in the crash but it's nothing serious I don't think.”

Track action was halted while the circuit was cleaned up but a brief rain shower complicated things still further. Wet Superpole rules were now in effect and the top twelve places on the grid would now be decided in a single session.

Sykes wasn't feeling any pressure and clocked a 1:58.010, putting almost half a second into the rest of the field. Carlos Checa, who needs a big weekend to keep his title hopes alive, claimed second with Eugene Laverty salvaging third for Aprilia. Speaking after the session, Sykes was cautiously optimistic about his race prospects as he looks to finally convert pole into victory.

“I think overall things are looking not too bad for tomorrow. I think there is no question that the Kawasaki and I have got the speed to do this sort of thing in one lap. In terms of race performance we will see how we go but I am fairly confident for the races tomorrow. We have tried three different tyres and got a lot of information this weekend. Hopefully we can convert pole position but that has been difficult this year. I am sure I will sleep well tonight and come out swinging tomorrow.”

The delay in SP2 was so long that Althea Ducati managed to repair Giugliano's trashed motorcycle, allowing him to go back out and grab fourth. The rookie took advantage of a slipstream from Marco Melandri to knock him off the front row with the BMW rider fifth ahead of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio. Chaz Davies heads the third row with Smrz, Badovini and Salom next to him after their SP2 session was ended early.


2012 eni Superbike World Championship

Round 9: Brno (Superpole Result)

Pos Rider Bike Team Lap Time (Gap)
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:58.010
2 Carlos Checa Ducati Althea Racing 1:58.470 (+0.460)
3 Eugene Laverty Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team 1:58.741 (+0.731)
4 Davide Giugliano Ducati Althea Racing 1:58.789 (+0.779)
5 Marco Melandri BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:58.885 (+0.875)
6 Jonathan Rea Honda Honda World Superbike Team 1:59.560 (+1.550)
7 Leon Haslam BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1:59.583 (+1.573)
8 Michel Fabrizio BMW BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet 1:59.621 (+1.611)
9 Chaz Davies Aprilia ParkinGO MTC Racing 1:59.748 (+1.738)
10 Jakub Smrz Ducati Liberty Racing Team Effenbert 1:59.871 (+1.861)
11 David Salom Kawasaki Team Pedercini No Time (SP2)
12 Ayrton Badovini BMW BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet No Time (SP2)
13 Leon Camier Suzuki Crescent Fixi Suzuki 1:59.439 (SP1)
14 Max Biaggi Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team 1:59.453 (SP1)
15 Loris Baz Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:59.627 (SP1)
16 John Hopkins Suzuki Crescent Fixi Suzuki 1:59.973 (SP1)
17 Lorenzo Zanetti Ducati PATA Racing 2:00.591 (QP2)
18 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda Honda World Superbike Team 2:00.693 (QP2)
19 Maxime Berger Ducati Team Effenbert Liberty Racing 2:00.978 (QP1)
20 Alessandro Polita Ducati Red Devils Roma 2:02.023 (QP2)
21 Leandro Mercado Kawasaki Team Pedercini 2:02.952 (QP2)
22 Norino Brignola BMW Grillini Progea Superbike Team 2:03.524 (QP2)
23 Viktor Kispataki Honda Prop-tech ltd 2:04.259 (QP1)