Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes took his sixth consecutive pole position at the 7th round of the World Superbike Championship from Imola this afternoon, over half a second ahead of second placed, Jonathan Rea.
|Another pole for Mr Superpole
Sykes has been at or very near the top of the timing sheets all weekend finishing Friday’s sessions a couple of tenths ahead of Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea, at several times throughout the day he was well over half a second ahead of the rest. Today was not too different, although the Huddersfield man only managed second best this morning, and then was not able to topple Rea during the second Superpole session.
The third SP session got off to a difficult start as it was red flagged due to an incident involving Sykes’ team mate, Loris Baz. When it was restarted, Sykes was advised by his crew chief to use a new race tyre, rather than a second hand qualifier from the first part of SP3 to put in his bid for pole. It paid off. Sykes went on to be the only rider in the 1m 45s bracket and taking yet another Tissot watch home to add to his ever growing collection. The grinner was happy as ever with his performance and has every thanks to pay to his crew chief for the tyre decision. “That Superpole win was down to a good call by my crew chief Marcel who said, after the red flag incident, we should use a fresh race tyre rather than the used qualifier I had wanted to go out on again. So my best lap was done on a race tyre and I wanted to try my best and put in a big push for the great fans here and I got it a bit sideways a few times. To be honest, for me it was not the pole position that meant that much. To me it was to get on the front row first of all and also because I was motivated because I had to finally use a race tyre. When I produced that kind of fast lap time I was excited. Doing that Superpole session on a race tyre has also given us good information for the races tomorrow. I am looking to put in strong results after my stupid mistake in Portimao and two strong finishes would put that memory to bed.”