2012 Magny Cours WSBK QP1 Results: Sykes Blasts Lap Record

In the first timed qualifying session, Tom Sykes once again takes provisional pole with a 1'38.2, a time that beat the previous lap record by over four tenths of a second. Carlos Checa was over four tenths back in provisional second place, ahead of a recovering Marco Melandri and Davide Giugliano.

Tom Sykes was fastest throughout most of the session, able to repeatedly beat any faster times set by other riders. With Melandri's fitness in question, Sykes remains the only rider likely to challenge Max Biaggi for the title on Sunday.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 66 SYKES T Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'38.200  
2 7 CHECA C Ducati 1098R 1'38.648 0.448
3 33 MELANDRI M BMW S1000 RR 1'38.742 0.542
4 34 GIUGLIANO D Ducati 1098R 1'38.962 0.762
5 65 REA J Honda CBR1000RR 1'39.014 0.814
6 84 FABRIZIO M BMW S1000 RR 1'39.139 0.939
7 3 BIAGGI M Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'39.144 0.944
8 91 HASLAM L BMW S1000 RR 1'39.149 0.949
9 50 GUINTOLI S Ducati 1098R 1'39.186 0.986
10 2 CAMIER L Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'39.285 1.085
11 58 LAVERTY E Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'39.382 1.182
12 86 BADOVINI A BMW S1000 RR 1'39.530 1.330
13 87 ZANETTI L Ducati 1098R 1'39.709 1.509
14 121 BERGER M Ducati 1098R 1'39.842 1.642
15 76 BAZ L Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'39.945 1.745
16 19 DAVIES C Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'40.084 1.884
17 21 HOPKINS J Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.538 2.338
18 4 AOYAMA H Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.631 2.431
19 71 CORTI C Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.860 2.660
20 5 LUNDH A Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'41.535 3.335
21 64 BRIGNOLA N BMW S1000 RR 1'42.990 4.790


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I have nothing against Biaggi, he seems to have mellowed in his old age, but he has had his share of chances and championships. Tom seems like a good guy and he and his team have brought that ZX10 a long way, from a bike was a tire eating monster and sent Tom backwards down the order, to a bike that is competitive to the end. Plus, Tom is owed a bit of karma from the cruel turn of events during the 2nd race at Portimao after winning that thriller in race 1.

He slapped Melandri in the face just last year...lightly, but still. Does not seem "mellow" to me.

Yep! Biaggi has always thought himself above others. Never liked him for that and it seems he'll never change. While his feat of 4 250 championships isn't anything to scoff at, boastfully claiming them in WSBK when he got his ass handed to him in GP seems silly. He was GP's golden Itialian star, until Rossi came up. Same with SBK, he's been the lead Italian until till Melandri.

'Boastfully claiming them' seems a little harsh. He won them, and when 250s were as competitive as 500s, before the motorcycle authorities decided to ape four wheel racing with supporting classes. I don't watch, or like, boxing but I think there's a good comparison to be made with the way Sugar Ray Robinson is often cited as the best boxer on record. The fact that he wasn't a heavyweight doesn't matter and motorcycling used to be more like that. Ángel Nieto won 13 world championships, not 13 championships that were stepping stones to the bigger classes.
And Max was very good in 500s/Motogp, too. Not as good as Rossi, but still. He and Mamola had more wins than any non-champion until they were passed by Pedrosa (and since Pedrosa's probably going to win a Motogp championship they're probably going to get that record back. A record no-one wants but an impressive one, anyway).

I'm a bit of a fan, obviously, but here are a couple more points to convince everyone else: if he wins the championship this weekend, it'll be 22 years after he won the Italian Sport Production Championship, 20 years since his first world 250 race win, and 18 years since his first world 250 title. Not bad for someone who only started riding when he was seventeen. His finishing positions in world championships: 5/4/1/1/1/1/2/4/3/2/2/3/3/5/3/7/4/1/3/(1?)

It will be great when Kawaski can put together a bike that can go race distance. Tom Sykes would make a great champion.

Tom Sykes seems like a great bloke. I'd love to see him do the double here — whether or not he wins the championship.