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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Surprise pole for Sykes at Misano

From the WSBK Pressoffice

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) used all his experience and pace to take a popular pole position in World Superbike Championship qualifying at Misano on Saturday, overcoming wet but slowly drying conditions better than his peers to take Kawasaki's first pole on the new Ninja ZX-10R. His last pole was in similar conditions at Imola last season on the previous Kawasaki model.

"That just makes it a little bit sweeter for me, having struggled to get a good dry set-up," Sykes said. "Exactly the same conditions as last year at Imola when I took the pole. A massive credit to Kawasaki Racing and Paul Bird Motorsport, in those conditions we have a strong electronics package and that helped us today. Conditions were so slippery and we found the maximum."

Points leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) ran him close after three wet Superpole sessions but starts second, with Jakub Smrz (Effenbert - Liberty Racing Ducati) third and the front row completed by Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike).

"We are very satisfied but at the end I was struggling to keep the tire in a good condition," Checa admitted. "It was sliding around, I took some risks but I could see that the limit was always the thing. Considering the conditions and my start with a small crash, my goal was the front row and we made it."

Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) crashed out late on and missed the chance to improve on fifth, while Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) overcame the pain of a fall on Friday to take sixth place.

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) and Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati) completed the front two rows. Biaggi was in pain in Superpole after crashing in the final free session, the Italian being diagnosed with bruising on his left ankle and damage to his talus bone cartilage.

Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) posted a ninth place finish after Superpole two, with faller Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) ahead of Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) and Sykes' fellow Kawasaki Racing Team rider, Joan Lascorz. 

Superpole three saw the exit of fast man in the dry Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare), faller Maxime Berger (Supersonic Racing Team), Rea's team-mate Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) and Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) who fell twice in this session.

WSBK star Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) was only 17th but local rider Matteo Baiocco (Barni Racing Team S.N.C.) was a good 18th of 23 riders. Returnee Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 22nd fastest.

Weather conditions are hoped to improve for raceday, at what is usually a hot and steamy race track for the riders to deal with.

Sam Lowes on his Parkalgar Honda took pole in the World Supersport division, after the second qualifying session proved to be wet Saturday and therefore the only times that counted were those set on the first day of dry track action. Lowes' best of 1:39.541 means that Yamaha ParkinGO rider Chaz Davies will line up second, and the Kawasaki Motocard.com machines of David Salom and Broc Parkes will start Sunday's race in third and fourth places.

Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) will head the second row from Italian champion, Ilario Dionisi (Honda Italia). Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Honda) and Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) complete the second row. Marino was fastest in the wet session on Saturday.

The Superstock 1000 runners also failed to improve their times from Friday's first session due to the rain, and so the pole position remains in the hands of Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Ducati). For Sunday's race the Italian will be flanked by Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) on the front row. Third quickest was Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia STK) with Andrea Antonelli (Lorini Honda) next up.

Giuliano Gregorini (RCGM Yamaha) took the first Italian win of the season in this year's European Superstock 600 Championship. Gregorini was in top form in the wet conditions, not only remaining upright throughout in a field decimated by crashes, but also setting a fast pace. The gap to the next man at the flag was more than seven seconds.

The runner-up slot went to Australian talent Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team), with Frenchman Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France) next up.

In the points standings Lanusse still leads the way followed by Metcher and Gregorini.

Russian Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) will start from pole Sunday in the first event in the Two Countries Cup, which sees riders from Italy and Russia compete in a two-event trophy. Six Italians will be lining up behind him, the best of the group being Stefano Togni (Str Ig Factory Yamaha).

TISSOT Superpole times
1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:55.197
2. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1:55.373
3. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1:55.745
4. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:55.768
5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000RR 1:56.034
6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000RR 1:56.285
7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:56.480
8. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1:57.054
9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR 1:57.374
10. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 1:57.454
11. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1:57.831
12. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1:58.509
13. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 2:02.235
14. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 2:02.440
15. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1:36.664
16. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1:36.686
etc.

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