Record-breaking Sykes takes Donington Park World Superbike pole
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes set the fastest ever motorcycle lap at Donington Park in qualifying today (Saturday) for tomorrow’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship races, as the British riders excelled once more. Pole position is Sykes’ 26th in World Superbikes, putting him in equal second place in the championship’s history with Troy Bayliss.
The pace in Superpole was intense, with local men Alex Lowes and Leon Haslam taking turns at the top of the order, and setting the fastest laps of the weekend at that point, before Sykes’ spectacular effort secured him pole at the circuit where he has won four World Superbike races in a row. Sykes has shown ominous form all weekend, with pole position confirming his credentials as potential favourite for the races.
Championship leader Jonathan Rea was second fastest on the sister Kawasaki, a quarter of a second off Sykes with Italian Davide Giugliano in third. Haslam was fourth quickest, heading up row two on the grid as he continues to nurse his rib injuries sustained at Imola, with fellow Derby man Lowes right behind in fifth, ahead of Welshman Chaz Davies.
Leon Camier, who has shown encouraging form on the MV Agusta bike this weekend, ensured all six British riders were inside the top seven places on the grid for tomorrow’s first race. Italian Matteo Baiocco, adopted home rider; Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli, and Spaniard David Salom completed the top-10.
The British wildcards again showed well in World Supersport qualifying, with 17-year-old Nottinghamshire racer Kyle Ryde setting the second quickest time to line-up on the front row for tomorrow’s race. Luke Stapleford was fourth fastest with Sam Hornsey seventh. World Supersport regulars Gino Rea and Kyle Smith were eighth and ninth fastest.
The first World Superbike race of the weekend takes place at midday tomorrow (Sunday) with the second contest at 3pm. A total of eight world class races will take place on Sunday, with additional action from World Supersport, Superstock 1000, National Superstock 600 & 1000, European Junior Cup and the Ducati TriOptions Cup, while fans will continue to be entertained off track, with the Paddock Show and other activities again open throughout the day.
Tickets for tomorrows race day are available on the gate, with free entry for children aged 13 and under.