News 12 Jun 2011

Sykes storms to maiden World Superbike pole for all-new ZX-10R at Misano

British star Tom Sykes handed Kawasaki its first pole with the 2011 ZX-10R at Misano.

British star Tom Sykes handed Kawasaki its first pole with the 2011 ZX-10R at Misano.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) used all his experience and pace to take a popular pole position at Misano, overcoming wet but slowly drying conditions better than his peers to take Kawasaki’s first pole on the new Ninja ZX-10R.

Sykes’ last pole was in similar conditions at Imola last season on the previous Kawasaki model.

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).

“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.”

Checa was satisfied with second, reaching his goal of sealing a front row starting position for the round.

“We are very satisfied but at the end I was struggling to keep the tyre in a good condition,” Checa said. “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 yesterday 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, with Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Kawasaki) directly behind him in 23rd.

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

In World Supersport, Sam Lowes on his Parkalgar Honda took pole in the WSS division, after the second qualifying session proved to be wet today and therefore the only times that counted were those set on the first day of dry track action.

Lowes’ best of 1:39.541 seconds means that Yamaha ParkinGO rider Chaz Davies will line up second, and the Kawasaki machines of David Salom and Broc Parkes will start Sunday’s race in third and fourth places.

Aussie rookie Mitch Pirotta remained 33rd on the grid for Sunday’s race.

The Superstock 1000 runners also failed to improve their times from yesterday’s first session due to the rain, and so the pole position remains in the hands of Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Ducati).

Australians Bryan Staring and Beau Beaton were 11th and 22nd respectively.

Giuliano Gregorini (RCGM Yamaha) took the first Italian win of the season in this year’s European Superstock 600 Championship, winning ahead of Australian talent Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team).

2011 Superbike World Championship
Round Six – Misano, Italy

Superbike Qualifying (top 16 in Superpole):
1. Tom SYKES, 1:55.197
2. Carlos CHECA, 1:55.373
3. Jakub SMRZ, 1:55.745
4. Marco MELANDRI, 1:55.768
5. Leon HASLAM, 1:56.034
6. Troy CORSER, 1:56.285
7. Max BIAGGI, 1:56.480
8. Sylvain GUINTOLI, 1:57.054
9. Ayrton BADOVINI, 1:57.374
10. Eugene LAVERTY, 1:57.454
11. Jonathan REA, 1:57.831
12. Joan LASCORZ, 1:58.509
13. Michel FABRIZIO, 2:02.235
14. Maxime BERGER, 2:02.440
15. Ruben XAUS, 1:36.664
16. Leon CAMIER, 1:36.686
17. Noriyuki HAGA, 1:36.728
18. Matteo BAIOCCO, 1:36.742
19. Lorenzo LANZI, 1:37.077
20. Alessandro POLITA, 1:37.104
21. Roberto ROLFO, 1:37.178
22. Chris VERMEULEN, 1:37.220
23. Mark AITCHISON, 1:37.362