Sykes ends Kawasaki career with Tissot Superpole award

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 09:25 GMT

‘Mr Superpole’ himself secures qualifying honor in Qatar

Going down to the wire in the Pirelli Qatar Round, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has taken the TISSOT Superpole Award by three points from his team-mate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Awarded 25 points for each pole position gained after the Superpole 2 sessions, points are awarded for grid spots in the same way as in the race. With the first 15 riders on the grid getting points, there were 26 riders claiming positions in this years award battle. But ultimately, consistency was the winner this season and Sykes was able to prove this.

Taking six pole positions, and 10 front row starts overall he was never far away from the top spot this season. But, with some tough Superpole sessions at TT Circuit Assen, Portimao and Circuit San Juan Villicum he faced a battle as Rea was hot on his tails.

Feilding the same Kawasaki ZX-10RR, Rea secured a front row start at every round but one this season – Down Under in Australia. Despite his consistency, he was only able to take two pole positions from Superpole all season in Thailand and Italy, at the Iconic Imola circuit. With a strong season of qualifying, the race went down to the final round in Qatar as Rea led the award standings by two points. But a pole position was enough for Sykes to take home the award, reclaiming the crown he last took in 2016.

Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) finished the season in third position, 99 points behind Sykes. Despite putting up a strong effort of five front rows from the Italian, it wasn’t enough to get him in the battle for the Award.

Sykes and Rea were undeniably the strongest qualifiers of the season, and with Sykes breaking the record for number of pole positions along the way, he won’t be running out of Tissot watches anytime soon.

Enjoy all the highlights from Superpole and the races that followed, all on the WorldSBK VideoPass.