Barcelona WSBK: Sykes grabs pole to snap Rea's streak
BMW rider Tom Sykes put an end to Jonathan Rea's streak of World Superbike pole positions by beating Toprak Razgatlioglu to the top spot in qualifying at Barcelona.
Sykes came through at the end of the 15-minute Superpole session on Saturday morning to post a best time of 1m40.408s for his first pole since last year's Phillip Island round, and the first for BMW's M1000RR.
The 2013 world champion - who is currently out of a ride for 2022 after losing his seat to Ducati man Scott Redding - was fastest in the first runs, as he was the only rider to break the 1m41s barrier.
Kawasaki rider Rea couldn't match his former teammate on his first run, but on his second run he marginally shaded Sykes with a 1m40.921s to keep his hopes of a ninth straight pole alive.
But that time was soon beaten by championship leader Razgatlioglu, who recorded a 1m40.694s on his Yamaha, and then by Sykes' final effort that netted the BMW rider a record-extending 51st WSBK pole.
Redding was the best of the Ducati riders in fourth ahead of Alex Lowes on the second factory Kawasaki and Andrea Locatelli, who is now confirmed to be staying at Yamaha for another two seasons.
Leon Haslam had his best lap of his first run deleted for exceeding track limits, but banked a time at the end of the session good enough for seventh on the best of the Hondas.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Ducati), Sykes' BMW teammate Michael van der Mark and Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha) completed the top 10.
Tito Rabat's replacement for the rest of the season at Barni Ducati, Samuele Cavalieri, was a solid 14th in his first qualifying since June's Misano round, one place behind the Go Eleven machine of Chaz Davies.
Alvaro Bautista was a disappointing 16th on the second Honda, eight tenths slower than teammate Haslam.
Australian debutant Lachlan Epis was 22nd and last aboard his year-old Pedercini Kawasaki, some five seconds off the pace.
|1||66|| Tom Sykes ||BMW||1'40.408|
|2||54|| Toprak Razgatlioglu ||Yamaha||1'40.694||0.286|
|3||1|| Jonathan Rea ||Kawasaki||1'40.921||0.513|
|4||45|| Scott Redding ||Ducati||1'40.978||0.570|
|5||22|| Alex Lowes ||Kawasaki||1'41.086||0.678|
|6||55|| Andrea Locatelli ||Yamaha||1'41.129||0.721|
|7||91|| Leon Haslam ||Honda||1'41.253||0.845|
|8||21|| Michael Ruben Rinaldi ||Ducati||1'41.275||0.867|
|9||60|| Michael van der Mark ||BMW||1'41.320||0.912|
|10||31|| Garrett Gerloff ||Yamaha||1'41.405||0.997|
|11||47|| Axel Bassani ||Ducati||1'41.632||1.224|
|12||3|| Kohta Nozane ||Yamaha||1'41.744||1.336|
|13||7|| Chaz Davies ||Ducati||1'41.791||1.383|
|14||76|| Samuele Cavalieri ||Ducati||1'41.801||1.393|
|15||44|| Lucas Mahias ||Kawasaki||1'41.808||1.400|
|16||19|| Alvaro Bautista ||Honda||1'42.055||1.647|
|17||36|| Leandro Mercado ||Honda||1'42.215||1.807|
|18||94|| Jonas Folger ||BMW||1'42.257||1.849|
|19||32|| Isaac Viñales ||Kawasaki||1'42.446||2.038|
|20||23|| Christophe Ponsson ||Yamaha||1'42.460||2.052|
|21||84|| Loris Cresson ||Kawasaki||1'43.841||3.433|
|22||83|| Lachlan Epis ||Kawasaki||1'45.732||5.324|
|View full results|
Locatelli handed two-year Yamaha WSBK contract extension
Barcelona WSBK: Redding recovers from P9 to win, Bassani stars