Jerez WSBK: Sykes leads Kawasaki 1-2 in qualifying

Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes claimed his fifth pole position of the World Superbike season, leading teammate and champion-elect Jonathan Rea in the qualifying session.

Jerez WSBK: Sykes leads Kawasaki 1-2 in qualifying
Tom Sykes, Kawasaki
Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki
Niccolo Canepa, Team Hero EBR
Chaz Davies, Ducati Team
Michele Pirro, Ducati Team

The Briton overtook Rea late in the session with a 1m42.292s, beating the previous pole record that had belonged to his 2014 teammate Loris Baz by 0.006s.

Rea led the main Superpole 2 session early on, heading Aprilia's Jordi Torres and Honda's Michael van der Mark by less than a tenth.

Van der Mark, who had to battle his way through Superpole 1 to make the shoot-out, briefly went to the top with four minutes to go.

But Rea reclaimed the benchmark shortly thereafter, crossing the line just moments before Althea Ducati's replacement rider Niccolo Canepa took second, 0.008s off.

Sykes, however, demoted both for good shortly thereafter, setting a new lap record in the process, with Rea taking second and Canepa having to do with a career-best third place.

Van der Mark took fourth, ahead of Torres and Ducati's Chaz Davies, who mathematically stands as the only person who can stop Rea from taking the championship.

Michele Pirro and Matteo Baiocco were seventh and eighth, ahead of Suzuki's Alex Lowes, reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam.

David Salom had narrowly made it out of Superpole 1 with a late lap, only to fall immediately afterwards and miss Superpole 2.

Rea will be crowned champion in the first Jerez race if he finishes higher than 10th.

Qualifying Results:

 Pos. Rider  Bike   Time Gap
1 Tom Sykes Kawasaki 1'40.292 -
2 Jonathan Rea Kawasaki 1'40.500 0.208
3 Niccolo Canepa Ducati 1'40.508 0.216
4 Michael van der Mark Honda 1'40.956 0.664
5 Jordi Torres Aprilia 1'40.974 0.682
6 Chaz Davies Ducati 1'41.155 0.863
7 Michele Pirro Ducati 1'41.185 0.893
8 Matteo Baiocco Ducati 1'41.415 1.123
9 Alex Lowes Suzuki 1'41.427 1.135
10 Sylvain Guintoli Honda 1'41.467 1.175
11 Leon Haslam Aprilia 1'41.512 1.220
12 David Salom Kawasaki no SP2 time -
13 Leon Camier MV Agusta 1'41.745 1.453
14 Leandro Mercado Ducati 1'41.908 1.616
15 Randy de Puniet Suzuki 1'42.486 2.194
16 Roman Ramos Kawasaki 1'42.584 2.292
17 Ayrton Badovini BMW 1'42.714 2.422
18 Christophe Ponsson Kawasaki 1'42.774 2.482
19 Gianluca Vizziello Kawasaki 1'43.746 3.454
20 Gabor Rizmayer BMW 1'43.826 3.534
21 Imre Toth BMW 1'46.622 6.330
22 Alex Phillis Kawasaki 1'46.717 6.425
Sykes heads opening day of WorldSBK action at Jerez

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