2014 Misano SBK Qualifying Results – Sykes Earns 21st Pole

2014 Misano SBK Qualifying Results - Sykes Earns 21st Pole
Kawasaki Racing's Tom Sykes en route to the Misano Superpole win
2014 Misano SBK Qualifying Results - Sykes Earns 21st Pole
Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes en route to the Misano Superpole win

2014 Misano SBK Qualifying Results

From the looks at things during the free-practice sessions of Misano World Superbike, Ducati Team’s Davide Giugliano was going to qualify on pole during Saturday’s Superpole.

But the reigning WSBK Champion Tom Sykes would not let this happen; the Brit piloted his Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Ninja to a lap time of 1:34.883, smashing the previous record at the San Marino circuit.

His time gave him the pole position for Sunday’s two 21-lap races. He will be joined on the front row by Giugliano, who was 0.196 of a second slower, and Aprilia Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli who was 0.223 of a second back.

Overall, the top eight riders were within a second of each other. Sykes – who earned a pole at Misano but never finished on the podium – achieved his 21st World SBK pole at Misano, and will be hungry for another double as he did in Aragon and at his home race in Donington.

“The support from the Italian fans has been fantastic as always. I have been happy with my pace over race distance since the start but I knew it was over one lap that I really needed to attack the circuit. The people around me are very, very special and they were able to adapt the bike so that when we put the Pirelli qualifying tyre in I was able to do well and take Superpole,” Sykes says.

“I was very happy with the character of the bike and I was able to move the bike from one side of the track to the other side of the track and hit each apex as I wanted to. We are always learning and I think we have done a fantastic job. To take the circuit record from one of my racing heroes, and a very, very talented rider like Troy Corser is a very proud moment for me.”

With 11 riders separated by less than one second during the three Free Practice sessions, it was always going to be a close session and the on track action certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd as several riders took their turn to head the field.

Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) made it through to the final 15 minute Pole Position shoot-out courtesy of being the fastest two riders in Superpole 1, progressing to join the already seeded top 10 from the combined Free Practice classification. Toni’s time of 1:35.961 was actually the fastest lap of the weekend until the final Pole Position lap eclipsed it.

With five minutes remaining all of the riders ventured back out for their final qualifying push, with Tom Sykes smashing the outright circuit best lap on his way to his 21st career Superpole victory.

Behind the top three, row two tomorrow will see Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) and Toni Elias with Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) lining up on row 3.

The EVO battle was won by Niccolo Canepa who will start both races tomorrow from the fourth row in 10th position overall.

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed at the end of the session and will therefore start 12th.