News 29 Feb 2020
Sykes secures 50th-career WorldSBK Superpole in Australia
First WorldSSP pole position of 2020 earned by Locatelli.
BMW Motorrad’s Tom Sykes captured the first Motul Superbike World Championship Superpole of the 2020 season with a record-breaking lap this afternoon at Phillip Island.
Sykes’ pole position means he becomes the first rider to get 50 pole positions in WorldSBK history as well as shattering the lap record at 1m29.230s.
Lining up alongside Sykes will be WorldSBK newcomer Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing Ducati) and world champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) on the front row.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) qualified in fourth place ahead of Leon Haslam (Team HRC Honda) in fifth. Haslam’s Honda teammate, Alvaro Bautista, finished the session in 15th place after he suffered from a crash at turn nine.
French rider Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was the highest-placed independent rider in the session after qualifying in seventh place. Just behind Lowes in eighth was Sandro Cortese (Outdo Kawasaki TPR), who impressed despite little pre-season testing.
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Xavi Fores in 10th place was the last rider within a second of pole-setter Sykes. Leon Camier (Barni Racing Team) did not compete in the session after he was declared unfit with a damaged left shoulder.
It was Bardahl Evans Bros. Yamaha rookie Andrea Locatelli who took the World Supersport pole position with a record-breaking 1m32.176s.
Locatelli led world champion Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) by 0.147s, with Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completing the front row. Fourth was Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha), with Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) fifth.
On debut and after winning race one of the domestic series earlier this morning, 16-year-old local wildcard Oli Bayliss (Cube Racing Yamaha) will make his world championship debut from 20th on the grid.