Tom Sykes produced another Superpole master class to take his second pole position of the year under intense Italian heat for the seventh World Superbike round of 2014 in Misano.
|Sykes’ late effort was good enough for a 21st career pole
Photo: Kawasaki Racing
Sykes produced a late flying lap of 1min 34.883secs which was good enough to place him ahead of Ducati’s Davide Giugliano and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli for the 21st pole position of his World Superbike career.
The time was also good enough to beat Troy Corser’s four-year old lap record by a tenth of a second. Given that the Australian was one of Sykes’ heroes growing up the feat was all the more memorable for the Yorkshireman.
With Sykes’ championship lead slipping to 13 points after the first race mishap in Malaysia, he believes his performance on Saturday afternoon is enough to show he is on course for a pair of solid finishes in Sunday’s races.
“The support from the Italian fans has been fantastic as always,” he said. “I have been happy with my pace over race distance since the start but I knew it was over one lap that I really needed to attack the circuit. The people around me are very, very special and they were able to adapt the bike so that when we put the Pirelli qualifying tyre in I was able to do well and take Superpole. I was very happy with the character of the bike and I was able to move the bike from one side of the track to the other side of the track and hit each apex as I wanted to. We are always learning and I think we have done a fantastic job. To take the circuit record from one of my racing heroes, and a very, very talented rider like Troy Corser is a very proud moment for me.”
Team-mate Loris Baz qualified in fourth, 0.3secs off the pole position time, but was heartened by his race pace shown in on Saturday morning.
“We are not so far off and honestly I knew it was going to be hard in Superpole because since the beginning of the weekend we have been struggling a little bit on new tyres,” he said. “But in a race simulation this morning I was quite fast at the end, maybe even faster than the beginning, which is the first time I have done that in three years! I knew that with new tyres in Superpole it was going to be a little bit hard so I am happy to go fourth today. I am really confident for the race because our pace looks good.”