KRT rider Tom Sykes posted a new track best at the ultra-fast Monza circuit to win his third Superpole contest in succession for the Kawasaki Racing Team.
The 27 year old from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, already lapped below Max Biaggi’s previous record from 2011 in Superpole 2. Up to today Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale was one of the 4 tracks where – already in the calendar from last year – where Sykes hadn’t won the Tissot-Superpole.
Tom Sykes: “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.”
The Aprilia duo of Eugene Laverty and championship leader Sylvain Guintoli will start from second and third positions respectively. Guintoli managed to edge out from 3rd place – after his last attempt before the flag – Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike).
A difficult Superpole start for local hero Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who was forced into the garage when technical problems occurred to his BMW machine in SP1. He was able to defeat the odds to secure a 5th place start for tomorrow’s two races. Davide Giugliano completes the second row ahead of FIXI Crescent Suzuki duo of Jules Cluzel and Leon Camier, with Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) in 9th place.
Marco Melandri: “I am quite happy with today’s Superpole. We know that we are a little bit slower in qualifying sessions, so to start from the second row is a good result. I am really satisfied with my RR; especially with the front. We just need to work a little bit on the rear. Today we were able to work on race preparation and I am satisfied because I have a good race pace. In addition to that, the bike is more stable in race setup and also during braking. I hope that we will have good weather tomorrow. In dry conditions, I like the track, especially the ‘Parabolica’ which is an awesome corner. I am very confident.”
Jules Cluzel: “I am really happy because this has been the first time I have smiled on the bike this weekend! This morning was really difficult with the conditions, as yesterday was the first time on a Superbike on this really fast circuit, so I had to learn braking points and how to ride round the really fast corners that are here, which is not so easy for a rookie, and this morning we couldn’t go any quicker because of the conditions. Tomorrow will be really tough as I’m still not 100% comfortable, but I think we are finding a good direction and maybe we can improve a bit more in both races.”
Team Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa will not race over the weekend. The inflammation in his left shoulder worsened overnight, causing him to withdraw from the race.
Defending Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) scored the pole position for tomorrow’s 10:30am 11-lap race at Monza. The Frenchman from Oyonnax rode his BMW HP4 to an incredible 1’45.870, new best lap for the series – and first time for a STK1000 rider to lap break into the 1’45s.
Last year’s Misano podium finisher and wild-card Michele Magnoni (BMW G.M. Racing) finished with an important 2nd place onboard the current winning model of the German manufacturer, ahead of Barni Racing Ducati duo of Assen race winner Eddi La Marra and 2007 series Champion Niccolo Canepa.
World Superbike Superpole
1. T. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’41.223 average 205.459 kph
2. E. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’41.301
3. S. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’41.542
4. J. Rea (Honda) 1’41.798
5. M. Melandri (BMW) 1’41.819
6. D. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’41.926
7. J. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1’42.680
8. L. Camier (Suzuki) 1’42.808
9. C. Davies (BMW) 1’42.955
10. M. Fabrizio (Aprilia)
11. L. Baz (Kawasaki)
12. A. Badovini (Ducati)
13. M. Neukirchner (Ducati)
14. F. Lai (Kawasaki)
15. F. Sandi (Kawasaki).