|Sykes is hoping for dry conditions for the race
Photo: Kawasaki Racing Team
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes will start the third round of the World Superbike season from pole position at the legendary Assen circuit.
Sykes lies in sixth position in the world championship after a frustrating round at Aragon last time out, where he was forced to retire in race one but then bounced back to finish on the podium in race two.
He proved his fast pace in both the dry and the wet, after a washout on Friday Sykes topped both sessions and then went on to set the fastest times in all three Superpole sessions on Saturday. His Superpole winning time was a 1.35.043.
Sykes said “The ZX-10R is working well and I was quite happy with my race pace, so when we put the Pirelli qualifying tyre in it was even better. I am happy to be on the front row and even better to be in pole position. I just hope we can have some dry conditions tomorrow. Our decisions are pretty much made on what settings to run but we do have a little bit of discussion to have later, just to confirm things, but I think we know what to do. We put 22 laps on a tyre earlier and were very surprised and happy with the results, so when I am on clear track I can do what I want and I know what’s needed. Tomorrow we will be faced with a bit of a fight maybe but if we can have some good luck I am confident.”
French teammate Loris Baz was pleased with his performance in Superpole and is feeling confident ahead of the races tomorrow.
Baz suffered from a big crash on Friday in the wet, which has made it difficult for him to be able to push on the right hand corners, however this hasn’t affected his fast pace. The 20 year old qualified in fifth position, 1.123 seconds off his teammates time.
“I did my best time with a race tyre right at the end. I went straight on and with my second lap on the qualifier but the grip was not really good so I came in to put on a race tyre. I was sure I could improve on my previous time so I went out and did my best lap of the weekend on a race tyre. I really like this track and because it is not so much stop and go, it feels nice and smooth to ride. It is more like Phillip Island than Aragon so I am looking forward to the race now. I had a big crash yesterday, landed on my leg and hip, so I cannot really push yet in right hand corners. I have to do a lot of the work moving around on the bike with my arm, which means that it is getting tired before my leg. I will take some time in the Clinica Mobile tonight to get a massage be ready for the races. I feel good about tomorrow. I am not sure where I can be but I will do my best.”