Tom Sykes gave his bid to snatch the championship from Max Biaggi a real boost with his ninth Superpole victory of the season. The Kawasaki rider trails by 30.5 points ahead of tomorrow’s deciding races but with Biaggi only qualifying tenth, the impossible may have become possible for Sykes.
The session followed a similar pattern to those earlier in the season with Sykes easing through the first two sessions with the minimum of fuss before unleashing the raw pace of the Kawasaki ZX-10R in SP3. Yet again, Sykes would set a new circuit record on the way to pole position with his lap almost half a second faster than Carlos Checa in second place.
The championship is decided on Sunday but whatever happens, Sykes says he has everything to be proud of in 2012, particularly his sensational record on a Saturday.
“It is nice to get another circuit record and it is something a little bit personal for me. The challenge is good and I have a great team and manufacturer behind me who will help me achieve these goals, so I am very happy. I am starting the last race of 2012 from pole position so that is another little something that keeps me motivated for tomorrow, especially for my main rival on the third row. I am just happy that my team and Kawasaki have given me a good package to use once again.”
Biaggi has it all to do from the third row after crucial mistakes on the qualifying tyre in SP2 and with wet weather possible for race day, the 20 points needed to secure the title may not be the formality many thought it would be.
“I’m obviously a bit disappointed because I made a few mistakes in the fast lap with the qualifying tyre that kept me from staying in the top eight”, said Biaggi. “I won’t dwell on what happened. It is already time to think about what to expect tomorrow. There is a risk of rain tomorrow and that could shuffle the deck since we haven’t done even one lap in the wet this weekend. The important thing will be to start well and stay focused. Then we’ll see what happens. I’ll ride my own race and try to stay out front without making too many calculations”.
Help may be at hand for Biaggi in the form of teammate Eugene Laverty who starts on the front row in third with Marco Melandri, the other rider with a mathematical chance of becoming champion with a 38.5 deficit to Biaggi, alongside in fourth. Sylvain Guintoli heads a second row otherwise made up of British riders with Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies for company. Leon Camier will be the last rider in front of Biaggi on the grid on Sunday after qualifying ninth on his Crescent Fixi Suzuki.