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Jerez WSBK: ‘Little hiccup’ stops Sykes from clinching pole

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes will start the final two World Superbike races of the year on the front row, but a ‘little hiccup’ prevented the Huddersfield rider from clinching his ninth pole position of the year, and narrowly lost out on that honour to Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty.

Sykes had been on the leading mix at Jerez all through practice and qualifying although not pushing too hard in Superpole on the eve of the final race-day of the year, after a harmless fall in an earlier session.

He leads the championship by 37 points and starting Sunday’s races from second place on the grid puts him in an almost perfect position to finish the great job he, his team and Kawasaki have been doing all year.


“Front row is our target and it has been all season, and it just so happens that we have had eight pole positions this year as a result. I would say it was possible to make pole today but we had a little hiccup and there was no need to test the boundaries again. I know what my potential is and we did not really utilise the full potential of myself, and the bike, in Superpole,” said Sykes.

“We want to get a good clean start if we can tomorrow, get stuck in and see what happens. A couple of guys are going to be fast early on and we have just got to do what we normally do every weekend. That is my plan. I am quite happy with our race set-up on the Ninja ZX-10R and the only thing I am trying to think about is trying to win the races.

“The conditions do change between races, and race two is going to be hotter than race one, but I am sure every guy on the grid has taken that into consideration. I think all things considered the bike is good across mixed conditions. Over race distance of 21 laps, I am happy.”

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