Sykes storms to Laguna Seca pole

The Kawasakis of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea came to the party in Superpole qualifying, snatching the top two spots on the grid for the eighth World Superbikes round at Laguna Seca.

Rea and Chaz Davies dominated the timesheets during the free practice sessions and were expected to fight it out for pole, but as usual Sykes produced the goods when he needed it.

With a minute to go, the Englishman pipped team-mate Rea by a tenth of a second, with Davies three tenths back in third – just ahead of fellow Racing Ducati rider Marco Melandri.

It was Sykes' third pole of the season, and the 41st of his career.

It was also a good day for Eugene Laverty, his fifth place the best qualifying performance of the year.

Leandro Mercado also sprang a surprise by finishing sixth fastest for IodaRacing Ducati. The Argentine had only made it to Superpole via a lap in SP1. 

Heading up the third row was Xavi Fores, followed by Alex Lowes and Leon Camier for Crescent Yamaha and MV Agusta respectively. 

Laverty's team-mate Lorenzo Savadori completed the top 10 of the grid.

Full Superpole qualifying results 

1. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing 1m 22.476s 
2. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing 1m 22.566s 
3. Chaz Davies GBR Racing Ducati 1m 22.883s 
4. Marco Melandri ITA Racing Ducati 1m 23.077s 
5. Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia 1m 23.242s 
6. Leandro Mercado ARG IodaRacing Aprilia 1m 23.455s 
7. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati 1m 23.483s 
8. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha 1m 23.553s 
9. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta 1m 23.566s 
10. Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia 1m 23.717s 
11. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW 1m 23.789s 
12. Alex de Angelis SMR Pedercini Kawasaki  1m 23.797s 

Grid positions set by Superpole 1 results: 

13. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha 1m 24.250s 
14. Raffaele De Rosa ITA Althea BMW 1m 24.311s 
15. Roman Ramos ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki 1m 24.413s 
16. Randy Krummenacher SWI Puccetti Kawasaki 1m 24.445s 
17. Stefan Bradl GER Red Bull Honda 1m 24.593s 
18. Jake Gagne USA Red Bull Honda 1m 24.658s 
19. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandalini Yamaha 1m 25.125s 
20. Ayrton Badovini ITA Grillini Kawasaki 1m 25.303s 
21. Ondrej Jezek CZE Grillini Kawasaki 1m 25.669s