2014 Laguna Seca SBK Superpole Results
Just as he did two weeks ago at Portimao World Superbike, Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes earned the top qualifying spot at Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway.
This was the reigning World SBK Champ’s fourth pole-position win of World Superbike. En route, the ZX-10R Ninja pilot also set a new lap record – a 1:21.811.
In Superpole 1, Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) progressed to join the already seeded top 10 riders after the combined three practice sessions Friday.
For the Frenchman, the first 15 minutes wasn’t without incident as the Kawasaki rider ran off track at turn 6 before gently laying his ZX-R machine down in the gravel. Luckily he was able to remount and return to the garage, eventually qualifying 8th on the grid after Superpole 2.
Christian Iddon (Team Bimota Alstare) also fell in Superpole 1. The British rider was unhurt and will be able to race Sunday
In the final 15 minute top 12 grid deciding session, the expectant American fans were not left disappointed after a series of fast laps kept them guessing as to who would emerge as the front row qualifiers.
Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) set the initial benchmark of 1.23.752 before being eclipsed by his team mate Marco Melandri. The Ducati pairing of Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies split the Aprilia duo before Guintoli reclaimed the top spot with 9 minutes to go.
At the flag it was reigning champion who lived up to his title of Mr. Superpole with an outright circuit best lap of 1.21.811. Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team) claimed the final front row starting positions with Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) grabbing 4th, 5th and 6th places on the grid respectively.
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) crashed unhurt and will start 10th tomorrow.
The accolade of being the best classified EVO rider at the US round went to Niccolo Canepa in 12th position overall, the only EVO rider to make it through to the final shootout.
Photos by Ara Ashjian