Sykes On Pole As Superpole Contest Is Cancelled

February 25, 2012

WSBK, Phillip Island, Australia

After the cancellation of Superpole due to a fatal accident in a support class race the final grid places were determined by the results of combined qualifying, putting KRT rider Tom Sykes on pole.

Sykes recovered from a crash on day one to make an immediate improvement in the final qualifying session this morning, pushing his way to the top of the time sheets with a 1’31.323 lap, edging out Max Biaggi by 0.154 seconds. This is Tom's third career pole, all set on Kawasaki machines, the most recent before today coming at Misano last season.

Tom’s team-mate Joan Lascorz took the second Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R to 16th and would have qualified for Superpole had it been run. Joan has found it difficult to match his machine set-up to this circuit but hopes for a breakthrough in tomorrow’s warm-up before facing two 22-lap races.

Pedercini Team Kawasaki regular David Salom was 19th while riding with a painful injured right wrist, and he was one place behind his team-mate for the weekend, Bryan Staring.

Two 22-lap Superbike races will take place on Sunday at Phillip Island, during what is the opening weekend of a 14-round season. The entire Kawasaki Racing Team extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the young rider who suffered a fatal accident during the Australian Superstock 600cc Championship race today, Oscar McIntyre.

Tom Sykes: “Pole position has come with mixed emotions because of some very bad news and first and foremost I want to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre. It seems unimportant in many ways now but as far as our on-track weekend has worked out yesterday we just made sure things were right with the bike and pushed a bit more in this morning’s cooler qualifying session. My pole lap was not a clean one but we still set the fastest time, which shows a good level of progress. Phillip Island has not been a great track for me in the past but Kawasaki has put in a huge
amount of work during the winter on the Ninja ZX-10R. We will see what tomorrow brings but I want to get two good races under my belt before I head back to Europe.”

Joan Lascorz: “I want to give my sincere condolences to the family of Oscar McIntyre first of all and his accident puts all other things into perspective. In the final qualifying session I did not get the lap times I wanted and then in the afternoon in the free session the strong wind blowing down the straight affected me and the bike, so we did not make the improvements we were looking for. I do not have as much confidence as usual right now so I hope tomorrow morning we can make a change in the set-up for the races.”