ALCANIZ, Spain – Tom Sykes of the Kawasaki Racing Team blasted the previous track best at MotorLand Aragon to record a time of 1:56.552 seconds in Tissot-Superpole qualifying, earning his sixth FIM World Superbike Championship pole position of the season.
“I took a bit of warming up to be honest. In the first two Superpole sessions I thought I was trying hard but obviously not hard enough,” said Sykes. “Then in SP3 I put a bit extra on the line and fortunately it paid off. I made a mistake in the last sector so to cross the line with that lap time I’m more than happy. We also had a good test here last week and I think we’ve closed the gap to the front guys on a hot and greasy track, which has been a big issue.”
The new best time set by Skyes was over a second better than the best lap from 2011, a huge margin even at a relatively long circuit like MotorLand Aragon.
It was all the more remarkable as his top speed was ten km/h less than the best of his rivals, and he made a mistake in one section of the circuit during his fastest lap.
Aprilia Racing Team riders Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty were second and third respectively and the front row for Sunday’s two 20-lap races was completed by Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport).
“We’re looking good, we’ve been constantly in the top 4 or 5 but we knew that we would be from last year’s strong races,” said Biaggi. “Today we saw other manufacturers go closer and someone else go faster but it was an impressive lap time for Tom, congratulations to him, he was faster than anyone. We could only get second and it’s not so bad but the races are going to be very hard tomorrow.”
Haslam’s teammate Marco Melandri was fifth in Tissot-Superpole, with Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) in sixth place.