MONTEREY, Calif. – Tom Sykes earned the Tissot-Superpole for Sunday’s World Superbike doubleheader Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Superpole 1 saw Loris Baz and Niccolo Canepa progress to join the already seeded top 10 riders after the combined three practice sessions yesterday. For Baz, the first 15 minutes wasn’t without incident as the Kawasaki rider ran off track at turn six before gently laying his ZX-R machine down in the gravel. Luckily he was able to remount and return to the garage, eventually qualifying eighth on the grid after Superpole 2.
In the final 15 minute session the American fans were not left disappointed after a series of fast laps kept them guessing as to who would emerge as the front row qualifiers. Sylvain Guintoli set the initial benchmark of 1:23.752 before being eclipsed by his team mate Marco Melandri. The Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies split the Aprilia duo before Guintoli reclaimed the top spot with nine minutes to go.
At the flag it was reigning champion Sykes who lived up to his title of Mr. Superpole with an outright circuit best lap of 1:21.811. Guintoli and Davies claimed the final front row starting positions with Giugliano, Melandri and Eugene Laverty grabbing fourth, fifth and sixth places on the grid respectively.