Misano, San Marino: Sykes leaves it late to head Kawasaki qualifying 1-2

Tom Sykes is in scintillating form around Misano to claim his sixth pole position of 2016; Jonathan Rea and Xavi Fores complete the front row.
CLICK HERE for WSBK Superpole qualifying (2) results from Misano.

Tom Sykes produced a typical, late flying lap to snatch pole position away from team-mate Jonathan Rea in an eventful World Superbike Superpole session at Misano.

In a frenetic finish to the delayed 15-minute session, Sykes produced a near perfect lap of the Adriatic circuit to claim his sixth pole from eight races in the 2016 season.

Confident of his race pace after some overnight set-up changes, Sykes' circuit record of 1m 34.037s was good enough to top championship leader Rea by two tenths of a second.

The session was delayed by some 20 minutes after Saeed al Sulaiti's Pedercini Kawasaki expired at the close of SP1, meaning trackside marshals had to spend some time clearing the track. Yet it ultimately had little effect on the result.

Until the final five minutes, when riders changed from race to qualifying rubber, Rea had sat first, but only just. His advantage over Sykes was a whisker; 0.010s in fact. Fores (+0.054s) and Davies (+0.069s) weren't far away either.

With Rea eventually finishing second and also declaring his pleasure with his race pace, the strength of the two KRT Kawasakis was a contrast to the misfortune of both Racing Ducatis, and Davide Giugliano (seventh) and Chaz Davies (ninth) will start both races from the third row.

Giugliano so nearly had a session to forget as a spill early into Superpole 2 left the Italian scrambling back to pit lane for modifications. The first to post a time with qualifying rubber, Giugliano briefly sat top before six other men pushed him down the order.

As Davies struggled to impact the top six, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Barni Ducati's Xavi Fores qualifying on the front row. The Spaniard pointed to several overnight set-up changes as reason for an improved feeling on Saturday.

In his first race back after breaking a collarbone in Malaysia, Alex Lowes was a splendid fourth fastest, and headed a very tight second row that consisted of the impressive local Lorenzo Savadori and Sepang race winner Nicky Hayden.

Sandwiched between the Ducatis on row three, Leon Camier was eighth after qualifying for the second 15-minute shootout through SP1.

Michael van der Mark was a disappointing tenth, ahead of Markus Reiterberger, who ran off track late on when attempting to better his time. Jordi Torres was some way off the German's time in twelfth.

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