WSBK: Sykes breaks circuit record in Monza qualifying

Sykes will start from pole for the 14th time

Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes has secured his 14th Superpole win at the historic Monza circuit, breaking the circuit record along the way. 

Following a wet opening day at the Italian circuit, the riders took advantage of a full day with dry tack time and Sykes sailed through Superole 1 and 2 with sights set on pole. The British rider pipped Eugene Laverty to secure the first position on the grid with one minute of Superpole 3 to go, setting a circuit record time of 1.41.22. 

Sykes said “I did not know the time Eugene had set but I knew that the Aprilias would be fast here. I am looking forward to tomorrow because we all have good race pace. In some areas we have an advantage and we got a new circuit record in Superpole, and the ideal starting position for tomorrow. I am looking forward to two exciting races. I like racing at Monza because the spectators are crazy like me! The fans are very enthusiastic and Monza is a very fast circuit. I hope to be very strong tomorrow.”

French team-mate Loris Baz struggled in Superpole this afternoon, failing to make it into Superpole 3. 

Having lost a days dry track time at the Italian circuit, Baz couldn’t find the right set up on his Kawasaki. Despite proving he has a fast race pace on race tyres, the 20 year old didn’t make it past Superpole 2 on qualifying tyres and will start the race from 11th on the grid. 

Baz explains “We are not going so fast in a single lap and when you know what the problems is then OK, but right now we do not really know why. We are fighting and working hard. This morning was OK, with race tyres it was OK, but we need to make a step in qualifying to move up to the front. My regular pace is OK but we need to find some speed. We will try to find something in morning warm-up as well. We have good stability in braking and good grip but maybe manoeuvrability is the key because although the bike is working well I cannot go any faster. My top speed is not so far behind Tom, even here.”


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