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Fourth pole for super Sykes at Donington

Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam set an excellent pace in Superpole at Donington Park to claim a British 1-2, with Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi completing the front row.
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Tom Sykes has taken a fourth World Superbike Championship pole position of the season on home soil at Donington Park after another outstanding qualifying performance.

Consolidating his status as the dominant figure in Superpole this year, the Kawasaki rider obliterated the existing lap record by three tenths of a second to lead a British 1-2 in front of the local fans.

Almost as impressive was second place man Leon Haslam, who got to within a tenth of Sykes at the head of the timesheets to snare a spot alongside him, while Marco Melandri completed BMW's strong Saturday by joining him on the front row.

With less than a second covering the top 15 after Q2, the battle for outright pole position was destined to be a close one, but while the first two knockout phases suggested BMW would be the bike to beat as Melandri and Haslam set the pace, it was Sykes that came out fighting in SP3.

Indeed, while Haslam was able to sneak beneath the existing lap record of 1min 28.099secs in SP2 with a 1min 28.032secs – on race tyres -, Sykes's first SP3 effort of 1min 27.716secs looked insurmountable as he widened the goalposts.

Haslam had also saved his best for last and while he was not able to get the better of his fellow Briton, it remains his best qualifying performance on a BMW.

Instead, Sykes will start from pole position for the fourth time this season as he looks to secure the first British WSBK victory at Donington Park since James Toseland in 2007. A good weekend could also see Sykes take the series lead, making him the first Kawasaki rider to do so since Scott Russell in 1993.

Marking the first time BMW has gotten both of its riders on the front row, Haslam's team-mate Melandri starts from third position, where he will line up alongside long-time adversary Max Biaggi, the Aprilia rider finding a turn of speed in Superpole having maintained a fairly low profile all weekend.





Related Pictures

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Sykes, Donington WSBK 2012
Sykes, Donington WSBK 2012
Sykes, Donington WSBK 2012
Sykes, Donington WSBK 2012
Sykes, Donington WSBK 2012
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Davies, U.S. WSBK 2014.
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Paul Denning - Unregistered

May 12, 2012 6:23 PM

Hope the "technical meeting tthat Infront and Dorna representatives are having at Donington today doesnt change a thing in WSBK. The championship is getting better and better every year, and it has become more interesting than MGP for a couple of years at least. I guess Dorna is trying to save their declining championship by trying to Influenciate Bridgepoint to restrict the rules on WSBK. They are rumours of trying to get less performing tyres for wsbk and try to close them to the STK1000. Im I the only one to think that this doesnt make sense at all? I mean in a time of economic crisis, what does make more sense: Developing Grand Prix bikes that go very fast but only get ridden by the professional pilots, OR take advantage of the excellent sports bike that already exist for sale on the market, and tune them up for the Track racing nad having an excellent world championship? C'mon...

Pizdoff - Unregistered

May 12, 2012 3:58 PM

Well done Sykesey..... In other news, whilst Haslam puts in a sub 128 lap for second the camera treats us to images of Biaggi riding into pit lane, Biaggi talking to pit crew... 6 riders on track, 5 Brits, and the sycophantic cork soakers follow Biaggi having a tyre put in. Is Aprilia Italian for if you can’t get pole bung money at Eurosprout to video Biaggi going for a wa...... ..sh?



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