Tom Sykes has taken his third successive pole position at the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza from Aprilia’s pairing of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli in
|Sykes takes yet another watch home…
a session which saw the non-race lap record bettered 3 times.
The first session started with a bit of drama, as the Goldbet BMW mechanics were working frantically on Marco Melandri’s S1000RR to fix what seemed to be a technical issue. Whilst the Aprilias and Tom Sykes took an early lead in the session, the Italian BMW rider didn’t get out until 5 minutes to go, fortunately breaking through into the “safe” zone and a spot in SP2. It was MR Ducati’s Max Neurkichner and the two Pedercini Kawasaki’s of Fabrizio Lai and Federico Sandi dropping out at the end of SP1.
SP2 started to see the faster laps, Laverty set the early pace becoming the first man to break the 1’42 barrier whilst Welshman Chaz Davies had a fast lap deleted due to chicane cutting. With 5 minutes of the second session left, Tom Sykes did what he’s become famous for and shot to the top of the time sheets with the fastest lap ever around Monza, a 1’41.685. In the drop zone with 4 minutes left was Kawasaki’s Loris Baz, Suzuki’s Leon Camier and the lone Alstare Ducati of Ayrton Badovini. Despite efforts by Baz, he couldn’t make it through to the final session but a last minute attempt by Leon Camier saw him jump up into the safe zone relegating his team mate Jules Cluzel, however Cluzel managed to put in an incredible lap to go second in the closing seconds meaning it was Red Devils Aprilia rider Michel Fabrizio who would join Loris Baz and Ayrton Badovini as the competitors not making it through to SP3.
The Aprilias came out strong at the start of the session, with an Aprilia 1-2-3 for Guintoli, Giugliano and Laverty at one point. Within 2 minutes Laverty shot to the top breaking the lap record Tom Sykes had set in the previous session. Sykes wasn’t going to settle for that though, a few moments later he stormed to a 1’41.223 to take the lap record again, securing pole position. An impressive performance on the PATA Honda looked like it would see Jonathan Rea make his first front row start of the year despite a late challenge from Marco Melandri, however a last-lap effort from championship leader Sylvain Guintoli saw him knock Rea on to the second row.