Tom Sykes now has six of eight Superpoles in the 2012 World Superbike season after earning the top spot at Aragon.
Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes
is not letting up in the fight for his first World Superbike win in dry conditions. The British rider took his sixth pole position of the season at Aragon on Saturday, finishing ahead of current championship points leader Max Biaggi
of Aprilia Racing by 0.708 seconds. Biaggi’s teammate Eugene Laverty posted the third-fastest time while rounding out the front row is BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam in fourth.
Heading up the second row is Haslam’s teammate Marco Melandri in fifth followed by Honda’s Jonathan Rea in sixth, Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa
and ParkinGo’s Chaz Davies in seventh and eighth respectively.
Sykes started off the string of three Superpole sessions well within the group to move ahead, but by no means the fastest. Checa posted the top time in Superpole 1 with Biaggi and Melandri following in tow. Conditions similar to Friday’s practice and timed sessions made for a relatively safe Superpole, with Lorenzo Zanetti of PATA Racing the only rider to go down.
In SP2, it was Melandri who picked up his pace to top the timesheet, with Biaggi holding steady in second and Laverty up to third. In SP3 though it was Tom Sykes who went on to post a track best 1’56.552 which made him the only rider on the grid to dip below the 1’57’s. Last year the Kawasaki rider took fifth place in Race 1 and crashed in Race 2.
"Another pole position is fantastic," said Sykes. "I wish we got points for pole position but we don’t. I think the forecast is for weather conditions to be a little bit cooler tomorrow which will make the racing faster for everybody. We will see what happens, because there were five guys who are looking fairly strong."
With two Aprilia's on the front row as well, Sykes has his work cut out for him if he hopes to hold the lead out of the start. Biaggi is coming off a double win at Misano and feels confident on the track at Aragon. "This second place comes after some good test sessions which placed us consistently in the top five. I like this track. We were fast here last year as well, so it's a shame about first place, but Tom was really faster than anyone else. I think tomorrow will be a battle."
Laverty has two third-place finishes to his credit in 2012 and finished sixth at Aragon last year. He and his Aprilia team have been addressing issues which have plagued him over the past few races. "The first row is definitely a good result but the most satisfying thing is the pace we've demonstrated during all the practice sessions," Laverty explained after the sessions. "We did some work on the bike to solve the problems we had during the last few races and for the moment the results are quite encouraging. Things will be complicated tomorrow, but starting from the front is always an advantage, especially when there are several riders with a similar race pace."
World Superbike Aragon Superpole Results 2012:
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’56.552
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’57.260
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’57.592
4. Leon Haslam (BMW) 1’57.710
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’57.784
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’58.033
7. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’58.243
8. Chaz Davies (Aprilia) 1’58.485
9. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 1’58.073
10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 1’58.249
11. Davide Giugliano (Ducati) 1’58.249
12. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1’59.160
13. Michel Fabrizio (BMW) 1’58.534
14. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1’58.660
15. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’59.302
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati) 1’59.549
17. David Salom (Kawasaki) 1’59.474
18. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1’59. 686
19. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 1’59.811
20. Maxime Berger (Ducati) 2’00.164
21. John Hopkins (Suzuki) 2’00.245
22. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki) 2’00.975
23. Norino Brignola (BMW) 2’03.823
In World Supersport, PTR Honda’s Jules Cluzel posted the top time, barely edging out Kawasaki Lorenzini’s Sheridan Morais who came in second. Morais’ teammate and current points leader Kenan Sofuogl will start from third position and Kawasaki Intermoto Step’s Fabien Foret rounds out the front row. This is Cluzel’s second pole position of the season, with the first coming at Donington where he went on to take third place. The French rider trails Sofuoglu by 22 points in second overall and is looking to score his second win of the season at Aragon.
World Supersport Aragon Superpole Results 2012:
Jules Cluzel took his second pole position of the season at Aragon, and is looking to close the points gap on Sofuoglu.
1. Jules Cluzel (Honda) 2’02.624
2. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki) 2’02.665
3. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2’02.804
4. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 2’02.882
5. Sam Lowes (Honda) 2’02.892
6. Broc Parkes (Honda) 2’02.895
7. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Triumph) 2’03.451
8. Jed Metcher (Yamaha) 2’03.701
9. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2’03.752
10. Mathew Sholtz (Honda) 2’03.773
11. Ronan Qarmby (Honda) 2’03.819
12. Alex Baldolini (Triumph) 2’03.993
13. Valentin Debise (Honda) 2’04.027
14. Joshua Day (Kawasaki) 2’04.155
15. Roberto Tamburini (Honda) 2’04.220