Tom Sykes Earns Eighth Superpole

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Tom Sykes during qualifying Saturday in Portugal.
Tom Sykes during qualifying Saturday in Portugal.

PORTIMAO, Portugal — Tissot-Superpole has almost become the personal property of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) in 2012 and in Portimao he recorded his eighth World Superbike pole of the season.

His most recent Superpole success before today was at Brno, in July. Tom now has ten career pole positions to his credit, the same as SBK legend Pierfrancesco Chili, placing him equal eighth in the all-time rankings.

Sykes set a one minute 41.415 second lap in Superpole 3 to record his new track best and in the process head off the impressive combined push of 2011 World Champion Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team). Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Sykes. “Before I came here I was expecting some difficulties going from past experience with the Kawasaki, but all credit to the team, because in the opening three laps I knew that the ZX-10R was a different bike and it has been working well all weekend. When we put the qualifying tyre in it seemed to work even better, honestly I’m happy to be on pole position tomorrow and my race pace is not too bad either.”