News 24 Feb 2018

Sykes claims Phillip Island WorldSBK Superpole

Leading Australian will be Maxwell out of 16th on the grid this afternoon.

Image: Russell Colvin (Foremost Media).

Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes has taken Superpole for the opening round of the 2018 Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) at Phillip Island.

The former champion lodged a 1m30.099s to display Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) by 0.240s, with Marco Melandri ( Racing Ducati) rounding out the front row.

With rain threatening to fall, the session remained dry as the times tumbled late in Superpole 2, with the top five also featuring Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha) and Chaz Davies ( Racing Ducati). Defending champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) starts out of sixth.

There were a number of casualties in the session including Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda), who will start out of 11th, and Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), who was 12th overall after transferring via Superpole 1. Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori – fastest on Friday – sustained a broken collarbone in an early exit from SP2.

Of the Australians it was Yamaha Racing Team’s Wayne Maxwell who led the way in position 16 after posting a personal best lap of 1m32.193s, while Troy Herfoss (Penrite Honda Racing) starts P19 and Daniel Falzon (Yamaha Racing Team) 21st.

The opening 22-lap WorldSBK affair is scheduled for later this afternoon at 3:00pm local time, marking the commencement of the 2018 season.

Detailed results