Top Ten For Sykes In Superpole At MMP

May 30, 2011

WSBK, Salt Lake City, USA, 30 May 2011 - After one dry day and one wet day of qualifying Tom Sykes made it into the top ten in Superpole, only just missing out on a second row start. Joan Lascorz was 17th and unlucky to not make the top 16.

Sykes had been an impressive fourth on day one in dry conditions and was happy in wet qualifying today; an improvement on his expectations after previous experiences in the wet this year. Sykes is now in a position to be in the mix on raceday from the third row, but the question will be what kind of track and ambient conditions Tom and Joan will find when raceday dawns.

Lascorz failed to qualify for Superpole by only 0.036 seconds and now starts each of Monday’s 21-lap Superbike World Championship races from the fifth row. Only 0.059 seconds separated the 12th place rider from Lascorz - in 17th place – in the combined qualifying timesheets, before Superpole began.

Pedercini Team Kawasaki Superbike riders Mark Aitchison and Roby Rolfo were 19th and 21st respectively.

Sykes had also entered a MMP kart racing competition as part of the publicity build up to race weekend. Keen leisure kart racer Tom performed well and finishing inside the top five alongside three team-mates - one media representative, one race fan who won his drive in a competition organised by the circuit and one member of the US military.

Tom Sykes: “A very wet day today but in the dry yesterday I was happy to be top four; that was great. We had a good steady day of progress and ended up at the sharp end in the dry. This morning we were safe in qualifying in the wet which was particularly good because we had some big problems with balance in the wet earlier this year. This time around we were in the top ten throughout the day, which I thought was a good effort from everyone involved. Tenth in Superpole was OK and ultimately we closed the gap on the other guys considerably, because we were four or five seconds off the leader at one stage. We made improvements when it mattered. I am disappointed to miss the second row, however. I had thought I had been given the chequered flag at the end of the session and that I had to pull in. As it turned out I hadn’t been flagged, it was just the flagman I saw at the side of the track. I would have gone for a better lap and a second row start if I had seen the situation really clearly. I would have went all or nothing on that final lap.”

Joan Lascorz: “I just do not feel comfortable on the bike and we had some problems with the bike moving around in the dry, but only depending on which tyres we used. I missed out on Superpole by just a small margin but that will make it hard at the start of each race for me. Right now it does not matter to me whether it is dry or wet on raceday. I am not sure what will be possible once we get into the races and I have to be clever in the first few laps to make up some places.”