WSBK: Superpole Qualifying at Imola Starts a Trend

03/31/2012 @ 7:00 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

After a month-long hiatus from the Phillip Island season-opener (Race 1 & Race 2), World Superbike action is back again this weekend and taking place in Imola, Italy. Though Max Biaggi leads the Championship with 45 points (ahead of Marco Melandri who has 30 points), much of the talk in the past month has been about the surprise resurgence of Kawasaki, with factory rider Tom Sykes taking a podium finish in Race 2 and showing potential to run against the likes of The Emperor, Carlos Checa, and Marco Melandri.

Now with Sykes third in the Championship going into Imola, the season that seemed preordained to be really between only two riders (Biaggi & Checa), has shown itself to be full of surprises. Continue reading for spoilers and results from the World Superbike Superpole qualifying event at Imola.

Once is a fluke, twice is a trend, and three times is a pattern…that’s how the saying goes at least, and Tom Sykes has got himself a nice trend going in WSBK qualifying thus far, as well as a best lap record at Imola. Taking the pole position after tragedy forced the cancellation of Superpole at Phillip Island, Skyes and the factory Kawasaki team proved that their front position and podium finish were not flukes at the Australian round. Taking the top time in today’s Superpole qualifying event, Sykes put a comfortable half-second of margin between him and Sylvain Guintoli, with Carlos Checa and Leon Haslam rounding out the top three.

“To get two Tissot-Superpole wins on the roll is fantastic. I dug deep after the second Superpole because I knew the times would be fast,” said Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes. “On my fastest lap in Superpole 3 I had a lot of feedback from my Kawasaki. A couple of times I arrived past the limit, but the feel was good so I could finish with a good lap. A few of us have very consistent race pace so there will be a big fight over full race distance.”

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Imola, Italy:

Pos. Rider Team Bike Time Diff.
1. Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’46.748
2. Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 1’47.221 0.473
3. Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 1’47.423 0.675
4. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1’47.458 0.71
5. Max Biaggi Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’47.611 0.863
6. Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 1’47.642 0.894
7. Jonathan Rea Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 1’47.643 0.895
8. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’47.740 0.992
Out After Superpole 2
9. Lorenzo Zanetti PATA Racing Team Ducati 1098R 1’48.108 1.36
10. Jakub Smrz Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R 1’48.137 1.389
11. Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.299 1.551
12. Davide Giugliano Althea Racing Ducati 1098R
Out After Superpole 1
13. Maxime Berger Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 1’48.267 1.519
14. Niccolò Canepa Red Devils Roma Ducati 1098R 1’48.382 1.634
15. Leon Camier Crescent Fixi Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’48.415 1.667
16. Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 1’48.631 1.883
Not qualified for Superpole
17. Chaz Davies ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’48.857 2.109
18. Michel Fabrizio BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 1’48.904 2.156
19. John Hopkins Crescent Fixi Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’49.790 3.042
20. David Salom Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’49.854 3.106
21. Mark Aitchison Grillini Progea Superbike Team BMW S1000 RR 1’50.009 3.261
22. Brett McCormick Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R 1’50.266 3.518
23. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 1’50.670 3.922
24. Leandro Mercado Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1’50.999 4.251
25. Lorenzo Alfonsi Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda Honda CBR1000RR 1’52.993 6.245

Source: WSBK

  • Westward

    Giuntoli’s Ducati seems to be every bit as good as Checa’s. The difference will be racecraft. The frenchman could be an absolute contender if he could simply pull it together…

  • Westward


    STK 1000 Pole, goes to ;

    La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1’50.403

    Looking forward to seeing Checa and Guintoli on the Panigale in WSBK 2013 hopefully…

  • z

    what fun is it to have so many competitive manufacturers in WSBK. Go Team green!

  • Sleazy

    FIVE different manufacturers, fve different engines/electronics/chassis configurations, five different riders/styles… all under a second apart when the heat is turned on. that shows the rules are are doin a good job of creating a level playing field/good racing. season should be a good one.