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Nurburgring WSBK: Badovini snatches maiden pole as Sykes, Davies crash

Superpole two

Ayrton Badovini 2’09.513

Marco Melandri 2’09.616


Tom Sykes 2’10.136

Ducati Alstare’s Ayrton Badovini was undoubtedly the fastest rider in both World Superbike Superpole session’s at the Nurburgring this afternoon, and out paced both GoldBet BMW’s Marco Melandri and Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes to the number one spot on the grid, and his maiden pole.

The day started off dry but just as the Superpole session was about to begin the rain started to come down heavily and the qualifying was changed to two twenty minute sessions.

The fight for pole was between the two Italians, Badovini and Melandri, as throughout the twenty minutes of wet lap time the position for pole changed a number of times. Melandri looked as if he would take home the Tissot watch for his team at their home round, but it was the Ducati who clocked the quickest lap, just one tenth of a second faster, just as the chequered flag appeared.

Sykes will start on the front row, even though he crashed out, with three minutes of the session to go, but his best time of 2’10.136 was enough for him to remain third fastest.

It will be a distinctively Pata Honda-esque second row with both British rider’s, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam finishing the afternoon in fifth and sixth places, with Kawasaki’s Loris Baz heading up the row after finishing the session just behind his team-mate Sykes in fourth.

Yesterday’s quickest rider, Chaz Davies did not have the best of luck this afternoon. After securing a provisional pole spot in Friday’s practice qualifying the Welshman crashed on the slippery track conditions on turn two and will start the races tomorrow from seventh on the grid. The Powys resident will share the third row with French riders, Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli and Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Jules Cluzel. The younger of the two riders, Cluzel was the first rider to crash in Superpole two. He was uninjured, but only managed two laps of the circuit.

Superpole one


Ayrton Badovini 2’13.459

Tom Sykes 2’13.564

Sylvain Guintoli 2’14.037

Badovini left it till his final lap of the wet Superpole one to go to the provisional pole spot, overtaking Sykes. The Huddersfield rider did look like he would go into Superpole two as the quickest rider, but the Italian clearly had other ideas and was not put off by the torrential conditions.


Crocked rider Guintoli was hovering around the elimination zone during the final minutes of the twenty minute session, but pulled a hot lap out of the bag to place him on a provisional front row.

Haslam clinged on to his place in the final Superpole but only five hundredths of a second. He was in the drop zone for most of the lappery after changing from intermediates to full wet tyres. He did pull himself out of danger to go seventh but when the chequered flag appeared fell to ninth, and as the Smalley lad went quicker he pushed MR-Racing’s Max Neukirchner into tenth and the German was eliminated from the rest of the session, at his home track.

Davies and Cluzel were only tenths of a second off being out of the session, but made it in by the skin of their teeth. The same could not be said for Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier. The Kent rider was in the provisional pole position with ten minutes left, with his best lap of 2’18.914.

He appeared to have done enough to go through to Superpole two, but as the clock ticked down the rider was not able to keep up with the pace of the others including his team-mate Cluzel and failed to progress into the next session. Camier was joined by Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, who has struggled all the weekend with Gearbox and engine issues and could only set the twelfth fastest time, ending his chances of back to back poles. Now both lad's start the races tomorrow from row four.

Red Devils Roma rider Michel Fabrizio never really made it out of the elimination places and neither did wild card rider, Matej Smrz. The Czech Republic lad, brother of MCE British Superbike racer Jakub, succumbed to the wet conditions and crashed at turn one. He was not injured but was unable to complete the rest of the session.


Max Neukirchner

Leon Camier

Eugene Laverty

Michel Fabrizio

Davide Giugliano

Matej Smrz

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