A topsy-turvy grid sees a jumbled-up order as Tom Sykes takes a 49th career pole and heads an all-British front row!
After the sun shone on Friday, unfortunately the typically inclement British weather turned nasty on the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. A whole host of riders had their moments in the spotlight at the top and in the end, it would be Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who finished on top, whilst Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was back on row two.
As the session unfolded, riders such as Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team), Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) all had strong openings to the session, as the tricky conditions saw those with little to lose come to the fore. However, crashes soon came and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was the first to fall at the final turn. Soon after, Alessandro Delbianco took a small tumble, but remounted to return to the pits.
Times continued to fall as the track dried out and riders soon put on the slick tyres, with Tom Sykes making the most of his tyre choice to lay down the benchmark. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was able to challenge his former teammate, but Tom Sykes kept edging clear, eventually finishing 0.993s ahead of the reigning WorldSBK champion. Sykes took his 49th career pole, whilst giving BMW just their second pole. Completing the front row to the cheer of the crowd, Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) – who made it three consecutive years with two Kawasakis on the front row.
It was another home win for Rea, who prevailed as winner after a red-flag for a multiple rider incident curtailed the Tissot Superpole Race!
It was a scorching encounter in the Tissot Superpole Race, as a four-man scrap at the front of the field. Under glorious blue skies, it was frantic and feisty from Lap 1 to the chequered flag, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) taking another vital win to extend his championship lead.
Taking the lead into Turn 1, Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) had the advantage ahead of new championship leader Jonathan Rea, whilst Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was third and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was fourth; it was a rapid start from the Turkish rider, coming through from row three. Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was fifth, but not making huge in-roads on the opening lap.
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By Paul Foster
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