Sykes blasts to Pole at Donington in tricky conditions

by Robert Jones

Tom Sykes remains the man to beat at Donington Park, as the Motorrad BMW rider produced a sensational lap to take his seventh Tissot Pole at the British venue. 

Sykes delivered the fastest lap of the weekend when the conditions were at their worst, to take his forty-ninth career Pole Position. 

Joining the 2013 champion on the front row are Kawasaki teammates Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam. Both riders spent time at the top of the leaderboard, but ultimately finished a second down on Sykes. 

Heading the second row is Peter Hickman, who was without doubt the standout of the session. The British Superbike rider was fast all in all conditions and produced his best lap as the checkered flag fell.

Frenchman Loris Baz and championship leader Alvaro Bautista completed the second row with fifth and sixth. Its been a difficult weekend so far for Bautista, who was languishing down the order until the final stages. 

With Rea on the front row and with better pace than the Ducati rider, it will be important for Bautista to try and keep touch with the front group for as long as possible. 

Seventh was Torpak Razgatlioglu, who struggled to replicate his dry weather pace of yesterday. Alex Lowes qualified in eighth place for the Pata Yamaha team after suffering a crash at turn 12 on his first flying lap. Rounding out the top ten in ninth and tenth positions are long time rivals Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies.

It was a tough session for Michael Van Der Mark, who understandably didn’t risk further injury in the changing conditions. The Dutchman sits third in the championship standings and will start race one from sixteenth place.

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