Sykes Goes Top Six In Superpole
September 3, 2011
WSBK, Nürburgring, Germany, 3 September 2011 - Tom Sykes overcame the effects of his recent ankle injury to post a top six finish in Superpole while his fellow official Kawasaki rider Joan Lascorz battled hard to go 16th in the pre-race rankings.
Despite pain and stiffness in his right ankle Sykes made a strong push from the first sessions in Germany, only outside the top ten in one session, when trying out various tyre options. Tom took his Ninja ZX-10R to a top five place before Superpole and then progressed in confident fashion through each of the three stages of Superpole, which allocates the top 16 grid positions.
Tom was finally sixth after he had to use his qualifying tyre allocation earlier than he wanted to, but he still earned a valuable second row starting spot for Sunday’s two 20-lap races.
Lascorz had some challenging times as he tried to get on terms with the set-up of his machine in his first Superbike visit to this tricky circuit but he still qualified for Superpole one and he is confident that he can improve on his qualifying performances in real race situations.
Pedercini Team rider Mark Aitchison was once more on strong and impressive form in his rookie season, getting into Superpole and then qualifying 11th from 20 riders. Roberto Rolfo went 19th in qualifying.
After a warm and dry period of qualifying today, raceday may well turn out to be wet at some point. That will mean a quick reassessment for all the Kawasaki runners who met a damp track surface for a short period on the first day of qualifying.
Tom Sykes: “We progressed through Superpole in a good fashion and the only struggle we had was when we tried out different tyres in the second free practice. When we went back to our race setting it worked out well and we did a 1’55.6 on race tyres. We had our hand forced to use a qualifier in the first session but I am happy to come back from that big crash in Silverstone and be in the middle of the second row. I am confident we can stay there or thereabouts in the race but I have heard there is a chance of some English weather rolling in tomorrow.”
Joan Lascorz: “We could not find the best set-up in practice but we got into Superpole, which was important. We could not make the best use of our tyres in Superpole one and could not improve to get into the next session. It will not be easy starting from the fourth row but I am sure we can improve our position in each race. We all hope it does not rain because some people seem to think it will tomorrow.”