Tom Sykes is setting his sights on becoming the first British rider to win a World Superbike race at Donington Park since 2007 after qualifying on pole position for the fourth time this season.
Consolidating his status as a master over a single lap, Monza race winner Sykes was in imperious form at Donington Park as he demolished the lap record by four tenths of a second to edge out fellow Briton Leon Haslam.
Now his sixth career WSBK pole position, it is the fourth time Sykes has emerged top at the end of Superpole this year, though this is the first time he has ever started from the front on home soil.
Even so, despite his record-breaking lap time, Sykes admits he wasn't expecting to prove so fast having struggled to get the ZX-10R working during SP1 and SP2.
“I am looking forward to tomorrow and we can use any rear tyre. It is just a matter of how we feel, what the conditions are and we will take it from there. The track here feels bumpier this year, some of the white lines are greasy, and it feels like more of a challenge.
"At the start of the weekend we had quite a harsh feeling with the set-up on the bike but we have improved it. You have to get every last bit out of the motorcycle. I was missing a bit of feeling but we kept working in Superpole 1 and 2, making some very small changes and finally in Superpole 3 those changes made all the difference. Small things make a difference at this level."
Bidding to put the frustrations of his 'half-victory' at Monza behind him, Sykes goes into the races knowing two good results could see him become the first Kawasaki rider to lead the WSBK standings in almost two decades.
"I'm confident with the race set-up and hopefully we can have some good consistent weather to put on a good show for spectators. It was also nice to get the pole award from Roger Burnett who scored the first ever SBK pole right here at Donington. Twenty-five years on it's happened to me!”
Sykes goes into the races six points behind championship leader Max Biaggi, who qualified fourth.