Sykes On Pole at MotorLand

Saturday, 2 April 2016 09:16 GMT

Tissot-Superpole thriller sees Kawasaki rider hit the top once again

With Superpole 1 underway at 10:30 local time under clear and sunny skies at MotorLand, the chill was beaten back as bikes got on track to burn through some Pirelli rubber. With a field of so many riders vying for the top two positions in the first session to be able to graduate to Superpole 2, it was tight at the top with a host of names pushing to make it through.

Local rider Jordi Torres and Althea BMW teammate Markus Reiterberger dueled with Yamaha rider Sylvain Guintoli as times quickly got up to speed with those set earlier in the morning in FP3, with Torres and Guintoli eventually locking out the top 2 and gaining entry to Superpole 2, the two rider split by 0.130 seconds.

The second session saw the first lap set by reigning Champion Rea, until home hero Torres topped the timesheets and Rea found himself pushed down to P8. With around 10 minutes to go, there were 5 different manufacturers in the Top 5 and BMW remained on top with Torres until Ducati’s Chaz Davies deposed the Spaniard by less than a tenth.

Torres was first back out for the final push in the last 5 minutes of the session, and with the clock counting down, Honda rider Michael van der Mark suffered a lowside running over the kerb, sadly losing the chance to fight for another pole after becoming the first Dutch rider to score on last time out in Thailand. Nicky Hayden qualified within the top ten in tenth after having to take avoiding action around his teammate in the incident.

The laps came in thick and fast with times tumbling, with the lap record broken by first Guintoli and then Sykes, with the Yorkshireman’s final effort proving too fast for the rest and securing himself another Pole Position at MotorLand Aragon, with the rest of the front row locked out by Yamaha duo Guintoli and Alex Lowes. Reigning Champion Rea bounced back from a difficult few first sessions at MotorLand to clinch fifth, just behind Ducati rider Chaz Davies, who is the most successful of the current WorldSBK grid at MotorLand.

Race 1 sees lights out at 1pm as Sykes tries to clinch another race win in Aragon and take the fight to his teammate Rea once again, with Ducati and Yamaha ready to take the fight to the Kawasaki pair.