Record-breaking Sykes on pole
British Kawasaki rider bags eighth pole of season at Portimao
Last Updated: 22/09/12 10:54pm
Tom Sykes: Raced to record in qualifying for Sunday's World Superbike races at Portimao.
Tom Sykes posted a new lap record as he bagged his eighth pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday's World Superbike races at Portimao.
The British Kawasaki rider set a record of one minute 41.415 seconds to once again underline his reputation as the king of one-lap pace in the series.
Sykes sits third in the riders' standings, 26.5 points behind championship leader Max Biaggi, who will start fifth for Aprilia.
BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri, who is just 9.5 points shy of fellow Italian Biaggi in the standings, will start from fourth place after mis-timing his final run and missing the chance to improve his time at the end of the session.
Reigning champion Carlos Checa will start second for Althea Ducati after posting a time three tenths slower than pole-sitter Sykes, while Biaggi's team-mate Eugene Laverty took third place.
BMW's Leon Haslam will line up sixth, just one place ahead of Jonathan Rea on the day that both men were confirmed at Honda for next season.
Haslam will make the move from BMW to join Rea in an all-British line-up, and Rea is enthused by his prospects with Honda for 2013.
"They've got some very exciting plans for 2013 and beyond, and I'm sure that with a strong team-mate like Leon, we can all work together to make next season memorable for all the right reasons," he said.
Another British rider, Nurburgring race winner Chaz Davies of ParkinGO MTC Aprilia, completed the second row in eighth place.