Tom Sykes secures Donington WorldSBK Tissot-Superpole for third time
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) will start tomorrow’s two UK Round, 23-lap races from Pole Position after taking today’s Tissot-Superpole in an enthralling 15 minute shoot-out that eventually saw the top 7 riders covered by 0.940s.F
For Sykes it was his 26th WorldSBK Pole Position – the third at Donington Park and the second of the season – clinched courtesy of a 1.27.071s lap time, which bettered his own previous outright circuit best lap dating back to 2013. The Briton also matched Troy Bayliss as the second all-time pole position winner in the series, both behind Troy Corser’s 43.
Tom Sykes #66 – Kawasaki Racing Team – P1 – “We have made some good steps here, so I am happy. I am very impressed with the lap time, although I came over the line and saw 1’27.0 – and then kicked myself because it should have been a 1’26! Our race set-up seems acceptable as well. I have now gone joint second with Bayliss in Superpole wins now and that is nice. We definitely used the potential of our rear qualifier and for that I am happy. We did enough to make it count but tomorrow is another day and we have changing weather forecasts all the time. But we are in a good position.”
Sykes’ team mate and current championship leader Jonathan Rea will start from the middle of row 1, with Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team) lining up alongside him to complete the top-3 riders on the grid.
Jonathan Rea #65 – Kawasaki Racing Team – P2 – “I was really happy with the Superpole lap. I made a few small mistakes but I honestly do not think I could have done any better. I was a little bit surprised to be second because we made a change for Superpole.The guys quickly changed the rear shock in the last minutes of Superpole.It worked well, so I think it sets us in a different way for tomorrow’s races. We are still lacking a little bit but the beauty is we get another crack in warm-up tomorrow. My team-mate is so strong here, to think about winning the race we still have to catch him.”
Davide Giugliano #34 – Aruba.it Racing Ducati – P3 – “We put together a great Superpole and the front row is very important here because if you’re further back you risk getting caught up in traffic through turn one. My bike is performing very well with the race tyre and small changes that we made this morning proved positive, allowing me to be consistently fast over more laps but with a little less physical effort. It’s also good that after yesterday’s crash we have immediately resumed the pace and the work completed today has provided us with a better set-up for tomorrow’s races, so I’m very pleased.”
Row two comprises Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team), while Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished seventh ahead of Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati) and Pata Honda’s Sylvain Guintoli.
Leon Haslam – P4 – “After being fastest in FP4 I’m pleased with the fourth best time in Superpole, especially considering a few mistakes I made in the first sector. Looking at the last few sessions it’s clear that the races will be close tomorrow as there are a lot of riders with very similar pace. A good start and staying in the lead pack will be important. Here at Donington the last two tight turns have always shuffled the deck in the last few laps of the race. My ribs are still hurting a bit, maybe more than I expected, but it shouldn’t be a problem tomorrow.”
Alex Lowes – P5 –“I’m happy with today! Obviously we have made some good steps with the bike and the team is working well. It doesn’t really feel like we’ve done much today – with the one practice session and then Superpole – but I’ve done my best lap around Donington, fifth on the grid, we know we can get good starts on the GSX-R and my race-pace looks really good. So a good night’s sleep tonight and I’ll give everything I’ve got tomorrow to get the best results for the team. It’s really nice to see the fans out there, give them a bit of a wave and hopefully we can put on a good show for them tomorrow in my special livery!”
Chaz Davies – P6 – “I’m not really making the best of the qualifier and expected more of a drop in time, while it was only four tenths of a second of an improvement which wasn’t enough. It’s good that I’ve done a fast time on the race tyre but I’d have liked to have done more. Before tomorrow we’ll probably make a couple of changes to try and calm the bike down a bit and stop it moving so much. It’s not easy to achieve that at Donington with the tight corners and ups and downs, but we’d like to get the bike as stable as we can for the races.”
David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) and Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) qualified 10th, 11th, and 12th respectively.
Sylvain Guintoli – P9 – We are making some good progress on refining the bike with the new parts and I managed to get out of Superpole 1 improving my times, which gave me a bit more of a feel. I’m in a much better position on the grid than I was in Imola so that’s good for tomorrow. We’ve still got a lot more things to try in warm-up and even in the races tomorrow, so we’ll use them as opportunities to test this new direction and try to understand more what is going to be good for us as we go forward through the season. We need to maintain some pace and keep an eye on the results, of course, but we’re also working hard trying to improve the overall package for the future.
Michael van der Mark – P12 – I’m quite disappointed with our qualifying position today because I was feeling quite confident that we could make some further progress after a good start yesterday. Everything felt OK in practice this morning and I went into Superpole 2 with quite a good rhythm on the race tyre. Unfortunately, once again, we couldn’t get the bike to work on the qualifying tyre and I was not able to improve my time. I’m feeling OK with the race tyre so we’ll check some things in warm-up tomorrow morning and then hope to get a couple of good starts in the races.”
Guintoli and Salom were the two riders who made it through Superpole 1 to join the already-seeded ten riders into the second session. Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) narrowly missed out on Superpole 2 as he was only half a tenth shy of fellow Spaniard David Salom’s time. The former Moto2 rider will start tomorrow’s races from the thirteenth spot on the grid.
Race 1 is scheduled to start at 12pm local time (GMT+1) tomorrow with Race 2 getting under way at 3pm.
WorldSBK Donington Park – Tissot-Superpole
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) continued his dominance at Donington Park this weekend in the sole qualifying session ahead of tomorrow’s 20-lap World Supersport race. The Turkish rider bettered his own outright circuit best lap that he set earlier in the weekend to post the fastest ever WSS lap of the 2.5 mile Donington Park circuit, lapping in a time of 1.29.925s. Today’s Pole Position is the 21st of Sofuoglu’s career, his second so far this year.
Alongside Sofuoglu on the grid will be impressive 17-year-old British wildcard rider Kyle Ryde (Pacedayz European Trackdays Yamaha), who grabbed a front row start on his World Supersport debut, much to the delight of the British fans watching around the track.
Completing row one tomorrow will be Frenchman Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who moved into 3rd before falling at Redgate the following lap.
Row two is headed by another British wildcard Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing), he will be joined by Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) while Sam Hornsey (Profile Racing), Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) and Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) round out the first three rows on the grid. Smith collided early on with Marco Faccani at Turn 3, with the Italian getting the worst of it as he will start tomorrow’s race from the 24th slot on the grid.
Current front runner in the FIM Europe Superstock 600cc Championship Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Yamaha) ended his first ever World Supersport qualifying session in a credible 16th.
Aiden Wagner was the leading Australian in 19th place while countryman Glenn Scott qualified 21st on the AARK Honda.
FIM World Supersport Championship – Donington Park – Qualifying
Tamburini snatches Donington pole after close qualifying session
Roberto Tamburini (Team MotoxRacing BMW) has secured the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup Pole Position, overhauling his nearest rival Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing Aprilia) by 0.243s to head the grid ahead of tomorrow’s 15 lap race. Fellow Italian Raffaele de Rosa (Althea Racing Ducati) completes the first row that sees a trio of Italian riders in the top-3 starting positions.
Row two will see Jeremy Guarnoni (Team Trasimeno Yamaha), Kev Coghlan (MRS Yamaha) and Ondrej Jezek (Triple-M by Barni) line up alongside each other, the six riders split by 0.755s. Former double STK1000 champion Sylvain Barrier (G.M Racing) will start 7th, the two-time title winner improved his feeling aboard the brand-new Yamaha YZF-R1M.
Bryan Staring has had a few issues this weekend but improved to 10th in qualifying.
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