Sykes takes pole for World Superbike showdown at Donington Park
25 May 2013
Yorkshireman Tom Sykes continued his impressive vein of form in this year’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship by taking his fourth Superpole of the season ahead of Aprilia duo Sylvain Guintoli in second and Eugene Laverty in third.
The Kawasaki rider held a comfortable lead throughout qualifying, beating his own lap record on three occasions to end the session with a time of 1min 27.378 seconds – four tenths quicker than both his former benchmark and his nearest rival, Sylvain Guintoli, who currently leads the Championship and holds an 18 point gap over Sykes.
Speaking after the race, Sykes said: “I was a bit disappointed with my first lap, struggling at the first turn with my braking and then missing apexes but I dug deep and it came good in the second lap and we did it. We have to keep chipping away, we’ve worked hard with the race set-up and now I am quite relaxed that we have things well set for the races.”
Today’s qualifying was not so seamless for Derbyshire’s Leon Haslam (Pata Honda), who rode through the pain of his recently broken leg to place 13th on the grid. The fans’ favourite very nearly made it through to SP2, only to be bumped down late on by Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) – a remarkable achievement considering the 29-year-old Haslam was injured at Assen in the Netherlands just one month ago.
The Brits also fared well in the FIM World Supersport contest, with Lincolnshire’s Yakhnich Yamaha rider Sam Lowes taking pole position ahead of the big race tomorrow afternoon.
Christopher Tate, Managing Director of Donington Park, said: “These races always promise high drama and we certainly haven’t been disappointed today. The great thing for everyone here is that we have two British riders on pole start for the main action – Tom Sykes in Superbikes and Sam Lowes in Supersport. With a warm and sunny race day promised by the forecasters, we expect a massive fan turn-out to support the British stars.”
Tickets for tomorrow’s day of action-packed racing are still available on the gate at a price of £50, with children aged 13 and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
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