WSBK Italy: Super Sykes is on the attack for the races
Interrupted by a red flag, the third phase of the Superpole turned Sykes’ plans upside down, but the latter still managed to sign pole at Imola! Kawasaki rider ahead of Rea, Giugliano and Guintoli. Author of the best lap times in the first and second phases of Superpole (SP1 and SP2), Tom Sykes was legitimately chasing after…
Interrupted by a red flag, the third phase of the Superpole turned Sykes’ plans upside down, but the latter still managed to sign pole at Imola! Kawasaki rider ahead of Rea, Giugliano and Guintoli.
Author of the best lap times in the first and second phases of Superpole (SP1 and SP2), Tom Sykes was legitimately chasing after a new pole position in SP3. His lap time in 1 ‘46.2 should have given him it, but the appearance of the red flag, a few seconds before he crossed the finish line, invalidated his last lap and forced him to try his luck again….
Ironically, the person responsible for the interruption of Superpole 3 was none other than his teammate, our compatriot, Loris Baz! Swept through the rapid descent leading to Rivazza’s double left, the No.76 hurtled down the slope on the buttocks as his ZX-10R set off in an impressive series of rolls..
The night will therefore be short for the mechanics of Bazooka whose ZX-10R was difficult to see at the end of its huge caper. Fortunately, his driver is unscathed and will be able to start from 9th place tomorrow for the two new Italian rounds (after those of Monza disputed on May 12).
Once the wreckage of Kawa ‘had been evacuated, the "airfences" put back in order and the runway cleaned, the last five minutes of SP3 could be relaunched. In the pits, Tom Sykes was fuming: his quota of qualifying tires used – two per driver for the three phases of Superpole! -, the English Ninja was forced to use a racing tire for his final assault !
Both quite nervous and extremely motivated, the 2012 vice-world champion gave himself 110% and his efforts were, this time, rewarded. The only driver to have dropped below 1 ’46, Sykes won his sixth pole of the season, the 17th of his career in WSBK. As much as double champion Doug Polen !
Jonathan Rea who had managed to beat Tom Sykes – by thirteen thousandths! – during the second qualifying session is relegated to more than half a second. Tomorrow he will place his Fireblade n ° 65 on the grid next to the Ninja n ° 66, but he will undoubtedly have a hard time hoisting it in front during the race….
Davide Giugliano completes the first row with his private Aprilia (Althea n ° 34) and is ahead of the two inseparable RSV4 Factory of Frenchie Sylvain Guintoli and Irishman Eugene Laverty. The British Leon Camier on his GSX-R accompanies them in second row. Thanks to this good qualification, the n ° 2 of Team Suzuki Fixi Crescent intends to climb on his first podium of the season.
Seventh fastest time in SP3, Marco Melandri will also be one to watch: accustomed to climbs at the end of the race, the Italian driver and his S1000RR prepared by BMW Italy will certainly not be satisfied with a Top 5 on Sunday in front of their public.
Ayrton Badovini, on the other hand, would probably already be happy to clinch a Top 5 tomorrow in the race: the Panigale that he is driving only obtained as a better result a sixth place in Portugal three weeks ago (read).
Eliminated at the end of the second phase of the Superpole, the Welshman Chaz Davies and the Englishman Leon Haslam qualified behind Loris Baz, in 10th and 11th positions. Haslam is less and less handicapped by his knee injury, but lacks "knock" driving and struggles to adjust his Honda correctly.
Michel Fabrizio had a disastrous SP2, the fault of a recalcitrant RSV4. But the n ° 84 may be pissed off: he constantly circulated around 5th place in practice (free and qualifying) but finally found himself 12th on "his" Italian grid. Mamma mia….
Falling in the first minutes of SP1, Carlos Checa is also very disappointed and inherits a distant 13th place … The Spanish rider lost the front of his Ducati in the entrance to the Traguardo chicane and is greatly complicated the task for the two races on Sunday !
Victim of the same type of fall, Max Neukirchner and his private Panigale had to be content with 15th place. Caught in a panini between the two Ducatis, is our Jules Cluzel and his Suzuki GSX-R1000. From Friday evening, the n ° 16 admitted that Imola was for him "the most difficult circuit to cover on a Superbike". Sunday could be a long day for our rookie…
Sixteenth fastest after the two qualifying sessions, Federico Sandi was unable to take part in the Superpole and will start from the top of the sixth row on the starting grid at the controls of his Kawasaki Pedercini. The Italian n ° 23 will beat his compatriot Vittorio Iannuzzo and his BMW of the Grillini Dentalmatic team n ° 31.
The disappointment was great this afternoon for the countless fans of Noriyuki Haga: the Japanese driver invited to compete in this Imola event on the handlebars of a second BMW Grillini, only won the 18th qualifying lap and only beat only one of his opponents !
Alexander Lundh (n ° 5 of the Kawa ‘Pedercini team) is indeed dead last and will settle alone on the seventh row of the starting grid during the two races of tomorrow, to be followed almost directly on the Site of course. : stay connected !
WSBK 2013 Imola Superpole
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