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:

1.Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’46.748
2.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’47.2210.473
3.Carlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R1’47.4230.675
4.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR1’47.4580.71
5.Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’47.6110.863
6.Marco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR1’47.6420.894
7.Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’47.6430.895
8.Joan LascorzKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R1’47.7400.992
Out After Superpole 2
9.Lorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R1’48.1081.36
10.Jakub SmrzLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R1’48.1371.389
11.Eugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory1’48.2991.551
12.Davide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R
Out After Superpole 1
13.Maxime BergerTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R1’48.2671.519
14.Niccolò CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R1’48.3821.634
15.Leon CamierCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’48.4151.667
16.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’48.6311.883
Not qualified for Superpole
17.Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory1’48.8572.109
18.Michel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR1’48.9042.156
19.John HopkinsCrescent Fixi SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10001’49.7903.042
20.David SalomTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R1’49.8543.106
21.Mark AitchisonGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR1’50.0093.261
22.Brett McCormickLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R1’50.2663.518
23.Hiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR1’50.6703.922
24.Leandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R1’50.9994.251
25.Lorenzo AlfonsiTeam Pro Ride Real Game HondaHonda CBR1000RR1’52.9936.245

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.