SBK Donington Park: Sykes On Top As Superpole Goes To Form

Tom Sykes grabbed his fourth pole position in a row as the Kawasaki rider continued to have the edge over Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty. The Yorkshireman had topped three of the four sessions leading up to Superpole and clocked two laps in SP3 quick enough to secure pole position for tomorrow’s races.

Guintoli was the first of the pole contenders to show in SP3 with a 1:27.716 but Sykes pulled a stunning final sector out of the bag to go two tenths quicker. Tom admitted in the post-session press conference that he was disappointed not to deliver the perfect lap first time around on the qualifying tyre but he made absolutely sure of pole on his next attempt with a circuit record 1:27.378.

Guintoli and Laverty will complete the front row on the Aprilia RSV4s while Jonathan Rea will start fourth for Honda after a late surge saw him overtake Leon Camier. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider still qualified fifth though with both BMWs in his wake, Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies unable to do better than sixth and seventh, while Davide Giugliano and Niccolo Canepa will complete the third row. The latter did a fine job to reach the final session as a wildcard, outqualifying his Alstare Ducati teammates in the process.

Carlos Checa will feel he should have been the top Ducati rider this afternoon but an incident with Jonathan Rea at the Melbourne loop prevented him from reaching SP3. Rea appeared to block the Spaniard on a flying lap and Checa was consigned to elimination along with Jules Cluzel and Loris Baz, the two riders who will join him on the fourth row.

Leon Haslam was edged out in the first session by Cluzel as a last minute dash from the Frenchman pushed him into the drop zone but the very fact that Leon is racing on home soil is impressive enough, so soon after his horrific accident at Assen. Haslam will start thirteenth on the grid tomorrow ahead of Ayrton Badovini and Michel Fabrizio.


2013 eni Superbike World Championship – Round Five: Donington Park
Superpole Result
Pos Rider Bike Team Best Time
1  Tom Sykes Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:27.378
2  Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team 1:27.716
3  Eugene Laverty Aprilia Aprilia Racing Team 1:28.014
4  Jonathan Rea Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:28.139
5  Leon Camier Suzuki FIXI Crescent Suzuki 1:28.252
6  Marco Melandri BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK 1:28.280
7  Chaz Davies BMW BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK 1:28.644
8  Davide Giugliano Aprilia Althea Racing 1:28.779
9  Niccolo Canepa (W) Ducati Team Ducati Alstare 1:29.318
Eliminated In SP2
10  Carlos Checa Ducati Team Ducati Alstare 1:28.454
11  Jules Cluzel Suzuki FIXI Crescent Suzuki 1:28.844
12  Loris Baz Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1:28.850
Eliminated In SP1
13  Leon Haslam Honda PATA Honda World Superbike 1:29.172
14  Ayrton Badovini Ducati Team Ducati Alstare 1:29.211
15  Michel Fabrizio Aprilia Red Devils Roma 1:29.214
Failed To Qualify For Superpole
16  Max Neukirchner Ducati MR-Racing 1:30.068
17  Federico Sandi Kawasaki Pedercini Team 1:31.485
18  Vittorio Iannuzzo BMW Grillini Dentalmatic SBK 1:31.758
19  Alexander Lundh Kawasaki Pedercini Team 1:32.988