WSBK: Sykes on provisional pole with lap record pace

Tom Sykes lapped faster than the race lap record of Donington Park to top the timesheets in the second and final qualifying practice at the East Midlands circuit. All 19 riders bettered their times in the 45 minute session

Sykes topped both QP sessions at Donington Park

as the sun was shining, in a much-needed improvement in the weather after dodgy conditions on the Friday. The more favourable conditions meant Sykes’ fastest time from Friday, 1’30.278 was beaten within the first 5 minutes by Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, who was in turn toppled by teammate Guintoli in early-on Aprilia domination.

Within 10 minutes the likes of Laverty, Guintoli, Sykes and Melandri had all broken into the 1’29 second laps. Guintoli remained at the top of the time sheets for a large part of the session, with challengers only being able to fight for second place – Sykes, Melandri, Baz and Camier all held the runner up spot at some point in the last twenty five minutes. It was with 11 minutes to go that Sykes put his ZX10R on the top of the timesheets with a 1’28.800, just under two-tenths faster than Carlos Checa’s race lap record from 2011. It looks unlikely Checa will be able to defend his position as lap-record holder come Sunday should conditions permit – despite improving upon yesterday’s 15th place he remains 11th on the timesheets and is still visibly uncomfortable aboard the 1199. Niccolo Canepa seems to be enjoying his wildcard performance on the superbike machine, he spent a large part of the session ahead of both full-time team mates and finished just behind Julez Cluzel in 13th, ahead of Badovini. 
PATA Honda’s Leon Haslam who is still hobbling around the paddock on crutches was as high as 10th at one point in the session, however he fell to 15th by the end of the 45 minute morning session – although it’s still good enough to get into this afternoon’s Superpole. Those who won’t be progressing to the knock-out style qualifying will be the two Pedercini Kawasaki’s of Alexander Lundh and Federico Sandi along with Grillini BMW’s Vittorio Iannuzzo. 
Times below.

Donington – FIM Superbike World Championship – Qualifying 2

1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’28.800
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’29.026
3. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’29.090
4. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’29.107
5. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’29.167
6. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’29.256
7. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’29.274
8. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’29.446
9. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’29.587
10. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’29.950
11. Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’29.956
12. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’30.066
13. Niccolò Canepa (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’30.078
14. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’30.404
15. Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 1’30.413
16. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 1’30.817
17. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’32.010
18. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 1’32.145
19. Alexander Lundh (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’33.141

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