Kawasaki and Tom Sykes have given the clearest indication yet that the new ZX-10R is shaping up to be a regular World Superbike front runner after qualifying third at Donington Park.
The Briton had been enjoying a modest weekend up to Superpole, but progress in FP2 and Q2 saw Sykes fought his way into the deciding qualifying session, guaranteeing himself a spot on the front two rows.
Furthermore, despite being left with nothing but a harder race tyre to do his fast lap on – as well as taking three laps to bring it up to full temperature – it was enough to vault him up to third position with his last gasp effort.
A second front row start for Sykes on the Kawasaki, following his pole position at Imola in 2010, he was delighted to score a minor landmark in the new bike's development after just two rounds.
“I was a little surprised because for the last session we only had a race tyre to use and it took me until lap four to put in a decent time. Going into Superpole three with no qualifying tyre I was not confident we could get a front row start, but I dug deep when I saw I had one minute remaining. I wanted my last fast lap to count, and it did!
“A front row start should make tomorrow a little easier. It is all pretty much one line around here in the first laps, from Redgate until the back straight. A front row start is good for us all in the team and a nice landmark for the new bike in only its second race weekend.”