Tom Sykes has taken his first pole position of the 2015 World Superbike season after edging out his teammate Jonathan Rea in Superpole at Assen. The 2013 champion has endured a disappointing season so far as Rea has dominated the championship but the pendulum swung Sykes’ way for the first time on Saturday in the Netherlands.
Rea, a five time winner at Assen during his Honda days, made a sensational start to SP2 with a 1:35.913, quicker than anything he had done all weekend, but despite an improvement on his second lap, the championship leader was usurped by Leon Haslam who clocked a 1:35.713 on his Aprilia.
The change to qualifying tyres triggered a thrilling finale with home favourite Michael van der Mark briefly snatching provisional pole for PATA Honda, only to hand it back to Haslam, but the Kawasakis soon raised the bar with both breaking into the 1:34s. Rea was the first to cross the line with a 1:34.920 but Sykes would secure his 25th career pole, and arguably the most significant to date, with a 1:34.789 moments later.
Haslam rounds out the front row with practice pacesetter Chaz Davies forced to settle for fourth, just ahead of van der Mark, while Alex Lowes produced a standout performance to qualify sixth on a Suzuki still adjusting to the Magneti Marelli electronics.
Xavi Fores starts seventh ahead of compatriot Jordi Torres while Sylvain Guintoli completes the third row after a stunning effort on the third lap with his qualifying tyre in SP1 which saved him from elimination.
DUTCH ROUND: SUPERPOLE CLASSIFICATION
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