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Motorsport | Superbikes

Tom Sykes © Gallo Images

Sykes's pole position run continues



Tom Sykes will start Sunday's Donington round of the World Superbike Championship from pole position, his fourth of the campaign.

The Kawasaki rider has proven to the rider to beat on Saturday afternoons and it was more of the same at his home event this weekend as he edged fellow Brit Leon Haslam.

Superpole got underway under sunny skies but with a definite chill to the crisp British air as the top 16 riders combined qualifying hit the track.

BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Marco Melandri set the early pace with a 1:28.323, which put him ahead of Tom Sykes and reigning World Champion Carlos Checa.

Jakub Smrz on his Ducati and Honda's Jonathan Rea joined the fight at the front but neither had the pace to challenge Melandri.

The session ended with Melandri quickest ahead of Smrz and Sykes with just under two-tenths separate the trio.

It was more of the same in Superpole 2 as Melandri set the early pace only to lose out to Leon Haslma with Sykes in third place.

Again Smrz upped his pace to mix it up the front, just 0.005s off Haslam's leaidng time.

This time the session ended with Haslam, Smrz and Melandri as the leading riders while a late charge up Aprilia's Max Biaggi up into fifth place. Checa failed to make the cut.

The final session, which would decide who takes pole position and who gets to start on the front row, saw Sykes come to the fore with a 1:27.716 ahead of Haslam and Melandri.

Sylvain Guintoli wasn't far off the pace, just two-tenths down on Melandri, in fourth place. However, the Monza pole position holder was not able to hold onto the front row grid slot, losing out to Biaggi in the final minute.

Sykes will start on pole ahead of Haslam, Melandri and Biaggi.

TIMES
1 Sykes Tom Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'27.716
2 Haslam Leon BMW S1000 RR 1'27.864
3 Melandri Marco BMW S1000 RR 1'28.177
4 Biaggi Max Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'28.340
5 Guintoli Sylvain Ducati 1098R 1'28.420
6 Rea Jonathan Honda CBR1000RR 1'28.546
7 Camier Leon Suzuki GSX R1000 1'28.551
8 Smrz Jakub Ducati 1098R 1'28.785
9 Checa Carlos Ducati 1098R 1'28.497
10 Badovini Ayrton BMW S1000 RR 1'28.614
11 Fabrizio Michel BMW S1000 RR 1'28.683
12 Laverty Eugene Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'29.032
13 Giugliano Davide Ducati 1098R 1'29.236
14 Canepa Niccolò Ducati 1098R 1'29.319
15 Berger Maxime Ducati 1098R 1'29.371
16 Davies Chaz Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'29.493
17 Aoyama Hiroshi Honda CBR1000RR 1'30.008
18 Baz Loris Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'30.237
19 Hickman Peter Suzuki GSX R1000 1'30.296
20 Zanetti Lorenzo Ducati 1098R 1'30.402
21 Aitchison Mark BMW S1000 RR 1'31.102
22 Mercado Leandro Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'31.540
23 Mason Gary Kawasaki ZX 10R 1'33.103

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