Sykes Beats Rea to Jerez Pole Position

Tom Sykes claimed his 29th World Superbike pole position after outpacing champion-elect Jonathan Rea at Jerez on Saturday. The Yorkshireman led a Kawasaki 1-2 ahead of surprise front-row challenger Niccolo Canepa although Rea is in the box seat to clinch the title in tomorrow’s opening race.

Having set the pace on Friday, and in FP4 in the run-up to Superpole, Sykes entered the pole position shootout as favourite and he ultimately enjoyed a comfortable advantage over his teammate, beating Rea by two tenths of a second.

Although Sykes is expecting a close fight at the front tomorrow, the 2013 champion admits his best chance of victory would be to make an early break.

“A few guys are very strong so it is good to be at the front for tomorrow’s two races. I like to ride out front, that is how I like to do it. I do not like anybody behind or in front of me – I just like to go and race the tarmac. We found some clear air but had a difficult time in the first run with the race tyre, and the lap time was incredibly slow. When we put the qualifying tyre into the Ninja ZX-10R for the second run it was very easy to manage. It was such an enjoyment to ride then and to get the record was just a little bit something extra for today. Overall the target was the front row and I think our race pace is also OK.”

Rea, requiring just a top ten finish to clinch the title in tomorrow’s opening race, will start second on the grid although he only edged out the impressive Canepa by eight thousandths of a second after unwittingly towing the Althea rider around on his quickest lap.

Michael van der Mark also shone, emerging from SP1 before securing fourth on the grid while FP3 pacesetter Jordi Torres had to make do with fifth on home soil. Chaz Davies lines up sixth, knowing he needs a top two finish to have any chance of delaying Rea’s title coronation, while Michele Pirro, Matteo Baiocco and Alex Lowes will make up the third row.



166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:40.292SP2
265. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:40.500SP2
359. Niccolo CanepaDucatiAlthea Racing1:40.508SP2
460. Michael van der MarkHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:40.956SP2
581. Jordi TorresApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:40.974SP2
67. Chaz Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:41.155SP2
755. Michele Racing – Ducati SBK Team1:41.185SP2
815. Matteo BaioccoDucatiAlthea Racing1:41.415SP2
922. Alex LowesSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:41.427SP2
101. Sylvain GuintoliHondaPATA Honda World Superbike Team1:41.467SP2
1191. Leon HaslamApriliaAprilia Racing Team – Red Devils1:41.512SP2
1244. David SalomKawasakiTeam PederciniNo TimeSP2
132. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse1:41.745SP1
1436. Leandro MercadoDucatiBarni Racing Team1:41.908SP1
1514. Randy de PunietSuzukiVoltcom Crescent Suzuki1:42.486SP1
1640. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam Go Eleven1:42.584SP1
1786. Ayrton BadoviniBMWBMW Motorrad Italia SBK1:42.714SP1
1823. Christophe PonssonKawasakiTeam Pedercini1:42.774SP1
1945. Gianluca VizzielloKawasakiGrillini SBK Team1:43.746SP1
2075. Gabor RizmayerBMWBMW Team Toth1:43.826SP1
2110. Imre TothBMWBMW Team Toth1:46.622FP2
2248. Alex PhillisKawasakiGrillini SBK Team1:46.717FP2