Magny-Cours WSBK: Sykes bags pole with outright lap record
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes will start both World Superbike races at Magny-Cours from pole position after an outstanding lap during the qualifying session this afternoon. The reigning champion went six tenths of a second quicker than his outright lap record that he set last year.
A 1’36.366 on a qualifying tyre was enough to place him firmly on the number spot on the starting grid, and is in prime position to fight for another double win tomorrow. But Huddersfield’s finest will have strong competition from Ducati’s Davide Giugliano who was lapping consistently in the 1’36.
The Italian's best lap was a respectable 1’36.593 which was enough for second on the gird, but still 0.2 seconds off the best lap of Sykes. Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea finds himself on the front row and was also under lap record pace – with a 1’36.906, leaving Giugliano sandwiched between the two Brits.
Ducati’s Chaz Davies heads up row two, after improving his lap times by nearly a second, but the Aprilia duo of Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri maybe a tad disappointed after previously topping the FP timesheets, and now have to settle for fifth and sixth place starts.
Local lad Baz starts row three, which is completed by the Voltcom Suzuki’s of Alex Lowes and Eugene Laverty. The Irishman tried a last lap dash, but it was in vain and couldn’t eek out an extra two tenths to get the better of his team-mate. Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam couldn’t improve his pace on the qualifying tyre and rounds up the top ten. His best lap of a 1’37.575 puts him firmly on the fourth row.
In Superpole two Giugliano stormed out of the starting blocks and on a race tyre lapped a 1’37.011, and was six tenths of a second quicker than Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea who was second fastest after five minutes on track. But Davies was on the case, and looking to emulate his Italian team-mate, and a 1’37.021 to go second on the sheets.
Baz and Neukirchner were the fastest riders in Superpole one, with the Frenchman the only rider able to reach the 1’37 during the 15 minute session, with his best lap of a 1’37.371 on a qualifying tyre, with the German rider lapping a 1’38.085.
Red Devils Roma’s Toni Elias did not make it out of the garage as his team were in a race against time to solve a technical problem, but with seven minutes towards the end Elias’ bike was ready to challenge for Superpole two. Unfortunately he did not have the pace to proceed to the next qualifying session.