WSBK Jerez: Sykes pips Rea for 29th career pole

Tom Sykes laps under Loris Baz's 2014 pole position record to push team-mate Jonathan Rea back to second for his 29th career pole position
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Tom Sykes powered to his 29th World Superbike career pole position at Jerez as a last-gasp lap was good enough to push Jonathan Rea back to second.

The 2013 world champion's final time of 1m 40.292s was six thousandths of a second under Loris Baz's pole position record and came just moments after Rea appeared to have done enough for the top spot.

Niccolò Canepa maintained his impressive speed in Andalusia as he used a Rea-shaped tow to claim the third best time for his first front row appearance in 2015. The Italian crashed his Althea Ducati earlier in the day and was visibly delighted to turn his fortunes around in the afternoon.

Undoubtedly the biggest improver of the day however was Michael van der Mark, who will head the second row of the grid after qualifying through SP1. The Dutchman was a disappointing twelfth in FP3 but showed much improved pace on qualifying tyres in the afternoon.

The reigning World Supersport champion initially used Rea's tow in the first run of the 15-minute dash, the pair exchanging a friendly thumbs up soon after, but van der Mark's best time came with no helping hand.

Three times a crasher this weekend, Jordi Torres placed fifth in qualifying at his second home race of the season, just ahead of Chaz Davies in sixth.

Davies insisted on Friday that he was “playing the long game” with regards to Sunday's race but will have his work cut out starting from sixth as he looks to consolidate his second place in the standings.

Alex Lowes was ninth just a day after setting the fastest FP2 time, behind the Italian duo of Michele Pirro and Matteo Baiocco. A week after claiming an impressive second row spot in the MotoGP round at Misano, Pirro again looked good in qualifying trim.

Despite a relatively strong weekend, Leon Haslam was a disappointing eleventh and will start next to reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli.

David Salom, another to qualify through Q1, failed to set a time in the second 15-minute session after he fell at turn one. Although the Spaniard was ok, his crew didn't have enough time to repair his Pedercini Kawasaki.

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September 19, 2015 5:58 PM

Marcel, kawasaki, sykes, workin hard on the tyre obliterating issue... Dont bring up 'rea is just better' stuff. While that may be true (cuz rea really is great) tom didnt burn up tyres last year nearly as bad with the 240 hp + rumored to be 250 hp engine last season. Correct me if i am wrong (i may be), but i thought the new rules this year not only included new frame modifying rules (less), less engine mods, but ALSO a price cap on electronics and if this is true, that means the bike is different from the ground up, and hence the flaw that was created thats burns up tyres... 2016 will be even better for kawasaki as they develop even more with these rules.


September 19, 2015 6:18 PM

Pure class, rea gives an old, rival,team mate a bit of a tow,and they both give a thumbs up,havin a bit of fun etc,in contrast, look at moto gp,redding and crutchlow, spittin their dummies out, shaking fists, banging their tanks because someone got a tow of them for tenth or twelfth place, total jerks,reas the real deal,get him in gp,hes a class act

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