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Portimao WSBK: Sykes ‘surprised’ with current form

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes expects the two World Superbike races tomorrow at Portimao to be difficult, even after surprising himself with a new track record, as the Huddersfield rider narrowly claimed pole position.

Sykes was only just able to hold off the close attentions of Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty. The Irish rider went to within one thousandth of a second of Sykes’ time, and starts from second place. The Kawasaki rider posted his fifth Superpole win of the season in succession after a two-part ‘wet’ Portimao Superpole and in doing so took a new track best lap of 1’41.360.

Despite the Portimao track surface being more bumpy than last year, Sykes still used his time and tyres wisely, and the Brit was surprised by his pace and lap times this afternoon.


“I am really happy to have five Superpole wins on the bounce, it is a record for me. I was able to do my time on a dry and sunny track but Eugene Laverty almost beat me to it this time. He was not quite close enough, so it does not matter if it is one thousandth of a second or one second, it went in my favour,” said Sykes.

“I am looking forward to two races tomorrow and I am expecting them to be difficult, but also a good show for the fans. We took a circuit best lap and I was surprised at that because last year I put in a good lap in better conditions.

“I think it shows that Pirelli have made a good step with the tyres. Conditions today were not as good as last year and yet we went faster. I was not expecting this lap time, but I will certainly take it”

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