Tom Sykes heads into the penultimate round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship hoping he can take advantage of his eighth pole position of the season at Portimao.
The Kawasaki rider's qualifying form this season cannot be disputed, the Briton having now won pole position eight times in 13 attempts. Increasing his career tally to ten, Sykes now sits equal-eighth in the all-time list alongside Pierfracesco Chili.
However, with just four races of the 2012 season remaining, Sykes wants to turn his eighth pole position into a much-needed third race win as he looks to close the gap to Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri in the overall standings.
Indeed, Sykes is feeling confident about his chances, not least because he was surprised to not only claim another pole position, but to do so with a lap record-breaking lap.
“I'm pleasantly surprised! Before I came here I was expecting some difficulties going from past experience with the Kawasaki, but all credit to the team, because in the opening three laps I knew that the ZX-10R was a different bike and it has been working well all weekend.
“When we put the qualifying tyre in it seemed to work even better, honestly I'm happy to be on pole position tomorrow and my race pace is not too bad either."