Superpole king, Tom Sykes (BMW), has just clocked the best ever World Superbike lap on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and his record 50th pole, as he blitzed the field to take pole for this weekend’s opening Yamaha Finance round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Island.
A phenomenal 1min29.230secs was the mark set by Sykes for the top spot, and he led a lockdown of British riders on the front row in Superpole qualifying for this afternoon’s 3pm 22-lap race one.
It’s the 50th WorldSBK pole position for the 2003 world champion Sykes, whose ability to stitch together searing one-lap flyers is now the stuff of legend. The next step will be chasing his first ever WorldSBK win at Phillip Island.
Championship rookie Scott Redding (Ducati) and world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) will join Sykes on the front row for both today’s opening 22-lap race at 3:00pm and tomorrow’s sprint race at midday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha), Leon Haslam (Honda) and Michael van der Mark (Yamaha) are on row two, followed by Loris Baz (Yamaha), Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) , Sandro Cortese (Kawasaki) and Xavi Fores (Kawasaki).
World No. 2 and last year’s Phillip Island master, Alvaro Bautista (Honda), crashed heavily at turn nine during Superpole, and he’ll start on row five – but still in a better position than Chaz Davies (Ducati) who only qualified in 16th.
Superpole was red-flagged for a few minutes after the fairing on Fores’ Kawasaki exploded, leaving debris on Gardner Straight.
In World Supersport qualifying, the form guide from the past week has been maintained, as Italian Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha) sits on pole ahead of Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta).
Locatelli has joined World Supersport in 2020 from Moto2 competition.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki) made it three different manufacturers on the front row, while Australian Oli Bayliss qualified in 202th – which equates to a row seven start for tomorrow’s 16-lap race.
WORLD SUPERS – THE GREAT MATES’ ESCAPE
Tickets for Australia’s opening round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island from Feb 28-March 1 are available at the Gate or at worldsbk.com.au
For further event information go to worldsbk.com.au