Sykes takes first 2016 superpole honours
After Superpole’s two sessions Tom Sykes took his 31st career pole position. It was the first Superpole win, at the first attempt, for the all-New Ninja ZX-10R, and came at record pace.
Sykes, who came so close to a 1’29 lap with his 1’30.020 said, “The bike was really good in Superpole. It would have been nice to get into the 1’29s but overall we took pole position and now it’s time for race one. Now I can get stuck in and make this one count today.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – WorldSBK) was second fastest, also close to the 1’29s, while a tight top three was completed by the second KRT Kawasaki – of 2015 World Champion Jonathan Rea.
The great season start for the official Pata Yamaha team continued with pre-Superpole fastest man Sylvain Guintoli fourth and Superpole 1 qualifier Alex Lowes fifth, just over 0.3 seconds from Sykes’ new track best.
In another pairing for another manufacturer Honda World Superbike team riders Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden were sixth and seventh, albeit with Hayden on the third row for the two 22-lap races, and VDM on row two.
A strong 2016 entry for the Aprilia-equipped IodaRacing Team continued with current FIM Superstock 1000 FIM Cup champion Lorenzo Savadori eighth – and ahead of factory Aruba.it Racing – Ducati rider Chaz Davies in ninth.
The top ten was rounded out by the MV Agusta F4 of Leon Camier.
The top BMW belonged to Markus Reiterberger in 11th, with his Spanish team-mate Jordi Torres (Althea Racing BMW) 12th.
WSBK rookies Milwaukee SMR BMW put Josh Brookes 14th and Karel Abraham 16th after Superpole.
Now the riders face the first race of the weekend at 3pm local time in Australia.