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Istanbul WSBK: Sykes expecting a battle with Guintoli for the win

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes will start from pole for the World Superbike races at the Istanbul Park circuit tomorrow, but the championship leader is not expecting it to be an easy task to take the win, as he predicts that Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli will also be at the sharp end.

Sykes expects the Frenchman, who is currently second in the championship standings, will be prepared to have a battle as to who can take home maximum points this weekend.

Using the first Superpole session, held in dry conditions, to verify a new set-up Sykes was fastest in the first and last of three Superpole contests, taking a narrow but important advantage of 0.022 seconds over his main championship rival Guintoli.


Sykes scored his seventh pole of the year in eleven attempts, which takes his career Superpole total to eighteen, and now the Yorkshireman is looking forward to a fight on track with Guintoli.

“I am happy because this is a circuit I had never been to before and I only got two practice sessions yesterday. I lost two sessions today to the weather so considering all this I am happy. I am fighting a bit of a cold but the changes we made to the bike set-up last night were positive,” said Sykes.

“My crew chief Marcel and all the guys at Kawasaki do a great job and we went in the right direction. We were able to try the adjustments early in Superpole and it was clear to see we had a good direction. We just need to see if we can put this to good use tomorrow.

“It is funny how it goes because Sylvain Guintoli is right beside me on the grid tomorrow. It seems we have been fighting all season, in qualifying and races, so it looks like it is going the distance”

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