Sixth Pole Of The Season For Kawasaki And Sykes

July 3, 2012

A sixth pole position for Tom Sykes came at record-breaking pace on his official Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R, with his team-mate Loris Baz joining him in Superpole, where he earned a 15th place.

Sykes, who tested at Motorland Aragon alongside Baz and many of their championship rivals last week, was simply untouchable in the final Superpole Three session, taking a new track best of 1’56.552 seconds. This was more than a second aster than the previous best lap set in 2011, and well ahead of the previous 2012 new best lap, set earlier in the day by Marco Melandri.

In Superpole Three Sykes was 0.708 seconds ahead of Max Biaggi, despite Tom making a small mistake during his record breaking run around the 5.344km circuit. Sykes now has eight career Superpole wins to his credit.

Baz achieved his pre-race aim of qualifying for Superpole and ended up 15th on the grid in his first race visit to Aragon in this class. The young French rider now hopes to go for points in both 20-lap races on Sunday.

The track temperatures in Superpole reached 58 degrees C but overall the temperature was lower than a blistering first day of action, when ambient temperatures almost reached 40 degrees C. Raceday is again expected to be a little cooler than today, which will make the results of morning warm-up essential for finding final race settings.

Pedercini Team Kawasaki riders David Salom and Leandro Mercado missed out on Superpole
qualification, Salom by only one position at his home round. He starts 17th on the grid for Sunday's races. Mercado was 22nd in qualifying.

Tom Sykes: “Another pole position and it is fantastic. I wish we got points for pole position but we don’t. I think the forecast is for weather conditions to be a little bit cooler tomorrow which will make the racing faster for everybody. We will see what happens, because there were five guys who are looking fairly strong. We worked hard in the tests here last weekend. Kawasaki worked hard and my crew chief worked me very hard and we did the equivalent of around nine race distances in total over the three days, so hopefully that will pay off tomorrow and we can silence a few people. It was nice to win another Tissot watch for Superpole today. I have one in every location now, but I am always late anyway, so that idea has not quite worked out!”

Loris Baz: “I am pretty satisfied to get into Superpole because that is one of my goals every time, to get into the top 16. I know it is very hard after that to get to the top level and all the way through Superpole. I had a crash in the test we did here last week and I lost a bit of confidence for a while. We tried some new settings over the weekend but I was not confident in the front still, so we decided this afternoon to go back to more like the settings we had before the fall, and I was OK. I have a good feeling back. I feel good for the races tomorrow and I think the bike will work well on the race tyres.”

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