Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes
put the World Superbike grid on notice that he’s healed enough to compete for the front, grabbing his first pole position of the 2013 season at Aragon. The British rider outpaced Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty
, the current points leader, by two-tenths of a second in the final Superpole session. BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Chaz Davies
rounds out the front row.
"It has been a long break since the first race a few weeks ago but Kawasaki has worked so hard since then and made improvements to the bike, and that brought something extra," said Sykes. "It has been nice to ride without any injuries this weekend as well after my fall in testing at Phillip Island. The most important thing to get today was a start on the front row and not worry too much about pole position but it was good to get my first Superpole win of the year for my Spanish-based team."
Sykes and Laverty flip-flopped between the number one and two spots all day, starting with the mornings qualifying practice where Sykes set the pace. In the following free practice, Laverty claimed top position; then it was Sykes in SP1, Laverty in SP2 and then Sykes again in SP3. Davies, meanwhile, never strayed far from the lead pack in lap time but was unable to find that little bit extra to make it to the top of the heap.
Laverty’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli, heads-up the second row, followed by FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel in fifth and Sykes’ teammate, Loris Baz, in sixth. FIXI Crescent Suzuki will be one rider down at Aragon following Leon Camier’s crash in Friday’s qualifying session where he suffered a significant blow to his left knee. The British rider was admitted to Alcaniz hospital shortly after the incident for assessment and, though no bones were broken, has been advised to “spend a minimum of five days in a splint while the wound heals,” according to a FIXI press release.
“To be in the hospital and kept away from the race due to a flesh wound is boring and extremely frustrating to say the least,” said Camier. “Having said that, I guess I should be thankful that nothing is broken as it was a pretty big impact. My frustration is made so much worse because the bike was feeling good, the lap-time was coming easily and I know we could have had a good fight this weekend.”
Althea Racing’s Davide Guigliano will have a fight on his hands, starting from the top of the third row, where he’s joined by Davies’ teammate, Marco Melandri, and Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea in eighth and ninth respectively.
Team Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa missed making SP3 by a mere 0.036 seconds and will start Sunday’s races from the fourth row. Rea’s teammate, Leon Haslam, sits 11th while MR-Racing’s Max Neukirchner is in 12th.
Checa’s teammate, Ayrton Badovini, put up his best time in SP1 and will start from the front of the fifth row, followed by Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio in 14th and Team Pedercini’s Alexander Lundh in 15th.
World Superbike Aragon Superpole Results 2013:
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’56.339
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’56.638
3. Chaz Davies (BMW) 1’56.845
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’57.486
5. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 1’57.540
6. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’57.869
7. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’57.975
8. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’58.268
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 2’01.613
10. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’58.326
11. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’58.329
12. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 1’59.993
13. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 1’59.475
14. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’59.478
15. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki) 2’01.029
16. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1’59.379
17. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 2’00.979
18. Ivan Clementi (BMW) 2’02.140
19. Mark Aitchison (Ducati) 2’02.554
20. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW) 2’03.201
Defending World Supersport champion, Kenan Sofuoglu of MAHI Racing Team India, posted the top time in qualifying at Aragon, beating Yakhnich Motorsport’s Sam Lowes by 0.160 at the end of the session. Sofuoglu’s teammate, Fabien Foret, rounds out the third row.
PTR Honda’s Sheridan Morais placed fourth-fastest, followed by Kawasaki DMC-Lorenzini’s Kev Coughlan in fifth and Pata Honda World Supersport’s Michael van der Mark in sixth. Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres’ Luca Scassa heads up the third row, with Van der Mark’s teammate, Lorenzo Zanetti in eighth and Puccetti Racing Kawasaki’s Riccardo Russo in ninth.
World Supersport Aragon Qualifying Results 2013:
1. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2’01.450
2. Sam Lowes (Yamaha) 2’01.610
3. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 2’02.216
4. Sheridan Morais (Honda) 2’02.239
5. Kev Coughlan (Kawasaki) 2’02.366
6. Michael van der Mark (Honda) 2’02.379
7. Luca Scassa (Kawasaki) 2’02.593
8. Lorenzo Zanetti (Honda) 2’02.895
9. Riccardo Russo (Kawasaki) 2’02.958
10. Raffaele de Rosa (Honda) 2’02.981
11. Vladimir Ivanov (Kawasaki) 2’03.030
12. Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha) 2’03.083
13. Gabor Talmacsi (Honda) 2’03.345
14. David Linortner (Honda) 2’03.438
15. Florian Marino (Kawasaki) 2’03.448