Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes has marmalised his own outright WorldSBK lap record at Misano to bag pole for this afternoon’s opening race in Italy to beat team-mate Jonathan Rea by three-tenths of a second.
Rea had set the pace and was the first man ever to lap Misano on Superbike at less than 1’34s. He stuck in a 1’33.990 which gave him a substantial advantage over the pack but, as usual over one lap, Sykes had other ideas and his final effort resulted in a 1’33.662, and another watch.
Ducati’s Marco Melandri fought with team-mate Chaz Davies for third spot and just edged the Welshman off the front row with his last flyer. The Italian stuck in a 1’34.121 with his last effort which was just enough to head off Davies’ challenge.
The Welshman used the disc rear wheel on his final run which he debuted in this morning’s third session but it is not known what benefits it has. He ended with a 1’34.337.
Michael Van Der Mark’s last lap was enough for the middle of the second row while Leon Camier, who was third with only a few minutes left to run, slipped back to sixth but still managed a 1’34.628 on the MV Agusta.
Alex Lowes starts from the head of row three and he had Xavi Fores and Jordi Torres for company while Eugene Laverty, Randy Krummenacher and Roman Ramos, who both came through Superpole one, complete the top ten.