Sykes Blasts To Superpole Number Five

June 9, 2012

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) secured his seventh career pole and his fifth this season when he set the fastest lap at Misano. Loris Baz joined Tom in Superpole and qualified an impressive  11th.

Sykes did not find the early sessions at Misano an easy challenge but his team made some hanges to his set-up that allowed him to go fastest after regulation qualifying and lead the pack of 16 competing riders into what was declared a ‘Wet Superpole’.

By the time Superpole one was underway the track was nearly dry, then almost completely dry by the end of Superpole two, allowing Sykes to get come to the outright track best, but not better it.

On his Kawasaki Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R Sykes was quickest in Superpole one before repeating that feat in the second session, posting a 1’35.375, which was a time that his closest competitors could not get close to.

Loris Baz set out with the ambition to take a Superpole start and managed that feat, then went on
to secure an 11th place starting position. He felt he could have even improved on that had he had a clear track and more of a chance to get used to the qualifying tyre he had his first experience of
today. He still exceeded his and his team’s main pre-race expectations.

Kawasaki Team Pedercini riders Leandro Mercado and David Salom had difficult days at their team’s home circuit, with Salom 22nd and Mercado 23rd in qualifying. In Superstock 1000 combined qualifying times Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was an impressive second.

Tom Sykes: “It looks like the qualifying tyres change the balance of the bike and we have been
working in a similar set-up direction all weekend. So it looks like when we get to qualifying the
softer tyres really benefit our package. It is really valuable information and the data is
something we can use to build on for the future. I used all but one of the five available rear tyre
options they have here, maybe saving one to try tomorrow. I am quite happy with two of the tyres
for race use right now so let’s see what tomorrow’s track conditions bring. I had a big moment at
the end of Superpole one when I think I hit a little puddle of water on the rumple strip and the
back end stepped out. There was no mistake on my part but just a bit of a puddle of water. I
managed to hold tight on the handlebars and got through the moment OK.”

Loris Baz: “I was able to be faster during Superpole but I got stuck behind another rider when I
had a qualifying tyre on. Also, the conditions over the back of the track were peculiar as there
was a wet corner there for a while. My objective was to be in Superpole and I got up to the third
row so that is good. Second row was possible but I am happy with the way things have been going
this weekend. We made a really big step with the new tyres, and also in race pace, so I am confident for the race tomorrow. I think I found something to help me in the more stop-and-go corners by changing my style but it is not east to change your style from one hour to another. The team and mechanics have all done a good job to let ride well on the bike and be comfortable. I am really happy because everything is going really good.”