Sykes Snatches Pole for Phillip Island Opener

Tom Sykes gave the brand new Kawasaki ZX-10R its first ever pole position after coming out on top in a sensational Superpole session at Phillip Island. The Briton secured his 32nd career pole with the fastest ever Superbike lap of Phillip Island but with half a second covering the top eight riders across five different manufacturers, this afternoon’s opening race promises plenty.

Having topped Friday’s practice sessions which set the field for SP2, Sylvain Guintoli was the favourite heading into the pole position shootout and the Frenchman was the first rider into the 1:30s, edging out reigning champion Jonathan Rea. Davide Giugliano would usurp Guintoli at the top of the leaderboard before returning to the garage but once qualifying tyres were fitted, the order would be transformed dramatically.

The first man to challenge Giugliano was Aruba Ducati teammate Chaz Davies with the Welshman lowering the benchmark time to a 1:30.717 but Michael van der Mark snatched top spot for Honda, a quarter of a second faster. The Kawasakis were next to show their hand, Sykes and Rea establishing a 1-2 for the reigning manufacturer champions and although Giugliano found seven tenths on his earlier effort, it was only good enough to split the British teammates.

Guintoli will head the second row after only managing fourth on qualifying rubber while teammate Alex Lowes will start alongside in fifth, a relief for the Lincolnshire rider having started in SP1. Van der Mark slipped to sixth with his teammate Nicky Hayden next up but Lorenzo Savadori surely produced the performance of the session, pipping Davies to eighth on his WSBK debut for Ioda Aprilia.


WorldSBK 2016: Australian Round – Superpole Classification

166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:30.020SP2
234. Davide Racing – Ducati1:30.098SP2
31. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:30.170SP2
450. Sylvain GuintoliYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team1:30.281SP2
522. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team1:30.354SP2
660. Michael van der MarkHondaHonda World Superbike Team1:30.468SP2
769. Nicky HaydenHondaHonda World Superbike Team1:30.479SP2
832. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaIodaRacing Team1:30.609SP2
97. Chaz Racing – Ducati1:30.717SP2
102. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse1:30.795SP2
1121. Markus ReiterbergerBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team1:31.031SP2
1281. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team1:31.207SP2
1312. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team1:31.871SP1
1425. Josh BrookesBMWMilwaukee BMW1:31.927SP1
1520. Sylvain BarrierKawasakiPedercini Racing1:32.077SP1
1617. Karel AbrahamBMWMilwaukee BMW1:32.117SP1
1740. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven1:32.194SP1
1815. Alex de AngelisApriliaIodaRacing Team1:33.507SP1
199. Dominic SchmitterKawasakiGrillini Racing Team1:33.664SP1
2011. Saeed Al SulaitiKawasakiPedercini Racing1:33.690SP1
2146. Mike JonesDucatiDesmo Sport Ducati1:33.722SP1
2256. Peter SebestyenYamahaTeam Toth1:34.346SP1
2310. Imre TothYamahaTeam Toth1:36.272SP1
2454. Toprak RazgatliogluKawasakiGrillini Racing TeamNo TimeSP1