Sykes Secures Record-Equalling Pole in Australia

Tom Sykes - Photo Credit: Kawasaki

Tom Sykes equalled Troy Corser’s all-time record of 43 career pole positions in WorldSBK by topping a crash-filled session at Phillip Island. The Yorkshireman outpaced Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty to claim the honours in the opening Superpole of the season while reigning champion Jonathan Rea could only manage sixth in windy conditions.

The unsettled weather quickly unsettled the riders in the pole position shootout with four going down in quick succession. Friday pacesetter Lorenzo Savadori was the first to fall, suffering a high-side at Siberia which brought out the red flags, before Leon Camier and Alex Lowes both tumbled at the Honda hairpin either side of a spill for Jordi Torres at MG.

Laverty was unconcerned by the gathering clouds and clocked a 1:30.399 on an early qualifying-tyre run. The Irishman remained on provisional pole thanks to an unusually slow lap from Rea who wound up six tenths slower but the second factory Kawasaki soon raised the bar, Sykes setting a 1:30.099 which wouldn’t be beaten.

Marco Melandri slotted into third on the Aruba Ducati despite, by his own admission, a mistake-filled lap, while Lowes recovered from his early crash to remount and snatch fourth, edging out Chaz Davies. Rea lines up sixth ahead of Xavi Fores and Michael van der Mark while the impressive rookie Toprak Razgatlioglu took ninth.

The fourth row will be made up of the three riders who crashed out of SP2, although Savadori looks set to miss out after breaking his collarbone.


WorldSBK 2018: Yamaha Finance Australian Round: Superpole

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
166. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:30.099
250. Eugene LavertyApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia1:30.399
333. Marco Racing - Ducati1:30.660
422. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team1:30.767
57. Chaz Racing - Ducati1:31.009
61. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team1:31.056
712. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team1:31.080
860. Michael van der MarkYamahaPata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team1:31.240
954. Toprak RazgatliogluKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing1:31.581
1032. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaMilwaukee ApriliaNo Time
112. Leon CamierHondaRed Bull Honda World SuperbikeNo Time
1281. Jordi TorresMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto CorseNo Time
1345. Jake GagneHondaRed Bull Honda World Superbike1:31.957
1476. Loris BazBMWGULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team1:32.016
1540. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven Kawasaki1:32.161
1647. Wayne MaxwellYamahaYamaha Racing Team1:32.193
1736. Leandro MercadoKawasakiOrelac Racing VerdNatura1:32.386
1868. Yonny HernandezKawasakiTeam Pedercini Racing1:32.554
1917. Troy HerfossHondaPenrite Honda1:32.640
2037. Ondrej JezekYamahaGuandalini Racing1:33.088
2125. Daniel FalzonYamahaYamaha Racing Team1:33.126
2299. PJ JacobsenHondaTripleM Honda World Superbike Team1:33.875