Tom Sykes will start from pole position for the third time this season after smashing the World Superbike lap record at Monza, this despite posting the slowest top speed of any rider in the all-important SP3 session.

With honours fairly even between himself and Aprilia rivals Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli coming into SP3, Sykes would have his work cut out to match the former when the Irishman lapped the circuit in 1min 41.301secs - almost half a second faster than previous lap record holder Max Biaggi.

However, just seconds later Sykes would come across the finish line having recorded a time of 1min 41.223secs, denying Laverty once again for his 14th career pole position - his 12th in the last 18 rounds.

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Notably, Sykes effort came despite circulating the circuit without a tow from a rival or team-mate, his top speed of 325.8kph proving the slowest of the nine riders participating in SP3. For comparison, Laverty would hit 337.1kph on his best lap.

Fresh from his first win of the season last time out at Assen, Sykes is hoping he can maintain his strong run of form around the circuit he enjoyed a victory last year too.

"I did not know the time Eugene had set but I knew that the Aprilias would be fast here. I am looking forward to tomorrow because we all have good race pace. In some areas we have an advantage and we got a new circuit record in Superpole, and the ideal starting position for tomorrow.

"I am looking forward to two exciting races. I like racing at Monza because the spectators are crazy like me! The fans are very enthusiastic and Monza is a very fast circuit. I hope to be very strong tomorrow."