Tom Sykes takes Qatar WorldSBK Pole
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) has taken his 30th career Tissot-Superpole to ensure his place at the head of the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two, 17-lap final WorldSBK races of the season at Losail International Circuit.
Joining the British rider on the front row will be 2015 Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Xavi Fores (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team), after the floodlit session saw the grid decided only in the closing moments.
The leading two bettered the 2014 outright circuit best and gave KRT another 1-2 on the grid, with the best time of Sykes being a blistering 1.56.821s.
The fight to make it on to row two was a closely contested affair with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) edging the Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils pairing of Leon Haslam and Jordi Torres at the end of the 15-minute Pole Position shoot-out.
Alex Lowes and his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team mate Randy de Puniet will start from the third row alongside Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and ahead of Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati). Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), who fell from his Althea Racing Ducati in the final seconds, has been declared unfit to race after being diagnosed with fractured third, fourth and fifth metacarpal bones in his right foot.
Superpole 1 saw the aforementioned Salom (Team Pedercini) and Leandro progressed to join the already seeded top 10 riders after Free Practice, they would eventually qualify 12th and 10th on the grid respectively after Superpole 2.
WorldSBK Qatar – Tissot-Superpole
1 – Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 1’56.821
2 – Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team +0.176
3 – Xavi Fores Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team +0.563
Sofuoglu claims record pole in Qatar
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will start the final WSS race of the season, the annual floodlit race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, from the number one grid slot after clinching the 23rd pole position of his career. Smashing the circuit best lap that has stood since 2009 in the process, the newly crowned four-time WSS Champion edged out his nearest rival Lucas Mahias (MG Competition) by 0.792s.
In a session that was stopped almost immediately after it began following a crash for Glenn Scott, whose AARK Racing Honda appeared to suffer a technical problem, the front row was eventually completed by Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) after his final lap elevated him from ninth to third.
Tomorrow’s second row will see PJ Jacobsen (CORE Motorsport Thailand), Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and the MV Agusta Reparto Corse of Lorenzo Zanetti.
Seventh on the grid Nico Terol (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will line up alongside Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) and Christian Gamarino (Team Go Eleven).
Row four comprises Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini), Kevin Wahr (SMS Racing Honda) and Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25), who secured his position after missing 38 minutes of the session after an earlier technical issue.
Glenn Scott should be allowed to start albeit from the back of the grid after being declared fit to start after a precautionary visit to the medical centre.
World Supersport Qatar – Qualifying
1 – Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 2’00.989
2 – Lucas Mahias MG Competition Yamaha +0.792
3 – Gino Rea CIA Landlords Insurance Honda +0.919