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Quick learner Sykes back to pole-winning best
14 September 2013
While he is certainly not stranger to the top spot in Superpole, Tom Sykes says he can be particularly pleased with his return to pole position in Turkey given his relative lack of track time around an entirely new venue.
The Kawasaki has been quick from the off despite having to learn the Istanbul Park circuit from scratch, unlike his key title rivals Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri, both of whom have previously raced there during MotoGP.
Coupled to a loss of dry track time because of rain in the morning, Sykes was delighted to prevail in a tight Superpole session, the Briton edging out Guintoli by a mere 0.022secs for his seventh pole position of the season.
“I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday,” said. “I lost two sessions today to the weather so considering all this I am happy. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive.
“My crew chief Marcel and all the guys at Kawasaki do a great job and we went in the right direction. We were able to try the adjustments early in Superpole and it was clear to see we had a good direction.
Coming into the inaugural Turkish round with a slender one point margin over Guintoli in the standings, Sykes says the presence of the Frenchman alongside him on the grid is proof that this is a title fight that will go down to the wire.
“We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow. It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli is right beside me on the grid tomorrow. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance!”
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