Sykes Beats Rea to Donington Park Pole

Tom Sykes continued his recent upturn in performances by beating his teammate Jonathan Rea to pole position at Donington Park. The Kawasaki riders remain the men to beat after their dominance at Imola but once again, Sykes grabbed the Saturday advantage with a sensational lap in Superpole.

After a bright start to SP2, Alex Lowes held provisional pole after setting a 1:27.670 on race rubber but once the riders switched to the qualifying tyres, the Suzuki rider was usurped by local favourite Leon Haslam. The British domination was momentarily broken by Ducati’s Davide Giugliano but a blistering run through the final sector saw Sykes snatch it on a 1:27.071.

With his 26th career pole, Sykes has moved level with Troy Bayliss in the all-time list and the Yorkshireman was pleased to have made history, and is now looking to end his winning drought tomorrow.

“We have made some good steps here. We made small steps in Aragon and Assen, some bigger ones at Imola, and bigger ones again here in Donington, so I am happy. The Superpole win is nice and we have a good grid slot for tomorrow. I am very impressed with the lap time, although I came over the line and saw 1’27.0 – and then kicked myself because it should have been a 1’26! It’s just that the qualifying tyre caught me out in some areas and pushed me off line. But you cannot be greedy and I am very happy. Our race set-up seems acceptable as well. I have now gone joint second with Bayliss in Superpole wins now and that is nice. I am getting amongst some legends, all-time greats, people I admired when I grew up racing. Credit to Kawasaki and myself, because we have certainly got the speed. We could see in Superpole 1 that few riders were getting two laps out of their tyres. Into my second lap, exiting turn one, she was sliding nicely. We definitely used the potential of our rear qualifier and for that I am happy. We did enough to make it count but tomorrow is another day and we have changing weather forecasts all the time. But we are in a good position.”

Rea clocked a 1:27.308 with a minute to go to edge out Giugliano while Haslam and Lowes will make up an all-British second row with Chaz Davies after the Welshman secured sixth spot. Leon Camier worked wonders with his MV Agusta to qualify seventh ahead of Matteo Baiocco and Sylvain Guintoli while David Salom put the pain of Imola behind him to take tenth on the grid.



166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:27.071SP2
265. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:27.308SP2
334. Davide Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:27.344SP2
491. Leon HaslamApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:27.535SP2
522. Alex LowesSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:27.554SP2
67. Chaz Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:27.710SP2
72. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse1:28.011SP2
815. Matteo BaioccoDucatiAlthea Racing1:28.188SP2
91. Sylvain GuintoliHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:28.370SP2
1044. David SalomKawasakiTeam Pedercini1:28.620SP2
1186. Ayrton BadoviniBMWBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:28.701SP2
1260. Michael van der MarkHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:28.715SP2
1381. Jordi TorresApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:28.689SP1
1418. Nicolas TerolDucatiAlthea Racing1:28.827SP1
1536. Leandro MercadoDucatiBarni Racing Team1:28.991SP1
1640. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam Go Eleven1:29.436SP1
1723. Christophe PonssonKawasakiTeam Pedercini1:29.668SP1
1814. Randy de PunietSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:29.686SP1
1959. Niccolo CanepaKawasakiGrillini SBK Team1:29.783SP1
2051. Santiago BarraganKawasakiGrillini SBK Team1:30.839SP1
2110. Imre TothBMWBMW Team Toth1:32.647FP3
2275. Gabor RizmayerBMWBMW Team Toth1:33.466FP2