2014 Portimao Superbike Superpole Results
For the third time this season – and the 22nd of his career – Tom Sykes has won superpole.
The Kawasaki Racing Team’s latest effort arrived Saturday at Portimao, Portugal, where the reigning World SBK Champion posted a best qualifying lap of 1:42.484 to take the pole position. To put this time into perspective, the record lap at Portimao is a 1:42.475, which was set last season by Sykes.
Joining Sykes – the current points leader – on the front row is Pata Honda Racing’s Jonathan Rea, who finished 0.281 of a second behind, and Ducati Superbike Team’s Chaz Davies, who finished 0.440 of a second back.
This was also Sykes’ third-consecutive Superpole win at Portimao.
“The Ninja ZX-10R is working well after we started quite steadily this weekend. We made some small changes to the bike every session and now I feel more comfortable on it. On the race tyre I was able to feel more comfortable and in Superpole, with the qualifying tyre, I just made it to the apexes a little bit easier,” Sykes sys.
“The circuit is missing a little bit of grip and of course the high winds are not helping, especially on the final section, but it is costing everybody some time. I am happy, especially after the changes we made today. I feel more comfortable and confident for the races tomorrow but I expect two difficult races. There are a lot of riders who are capable of running at the front but we will do the best we can.”
In Superpole 1, the red flags came out when MV Agusta Reparto Corse’s Claudio Cort crashed on the roller-coaster section. He was taken to the the medical center. During that session, Red Devils Roma Aprilia’s Toni Elias also had issues, though his were technical; he failed to record a time after having issues with his RSV4.
In the final 15-minute Superpole 2, the top times changed constantly, and the top nine riders all finished within a second of each other.
Heading up the second row is Aprilia Racing Team’s Marco Melandri, who topped the time sheets Friday. He will be joined by Kawasaki Racing Team’s Loris Baz and Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli, who recovered from crash in the fourth free practice.
Qualifying on row three were Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty, Ducati Superbike’s Davide Giugliano, and Pata Honda World Superbike’s Leon Haslam.
In the battle of the EVO riders, Sylvain Barrier will start 10th and David Salom 12th.