Sykes praises ‘incredible’ progress after pole, podium

Another big step forward for the new factory BMW WorldSBK programme as Tom Sykes qualifies on pole position and notches up a second podium in four races.
Sykes praises ‘incredible’ progress after pole, podium

Tom Sykes has hailed the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team after recording a dominant pole position at Donington Park and following it up with a well-judged podium in the wet.

The Superpole specialist shrugged off evolving track conditions to maintain his place at the head of the timesheets to qualify on pole position, a 49th career success but his first since swapping from Kawasaki to BMW.

Only the second-ever pole position achieved by BMW in WorldSBK and coming a full nine years after Troy Corser achieved the feat at Misano in 2010, Sykes had been a strong favourite to turn that into victory but for the worsening conditions come the race.

Nonetheless, though Sykes couldn’t match former team-mate Jonathan Rea in the wet, he had the measure of everyone else, finishing a lonely second but a huge 12 seconds ahead of Leon Haslam in third position.

His second podium of the season – which in turn lifts him to sixth overall – Sykes lauded the Shaun Muir Racing-run squad for the sizeable steps made in recent races.

“I am really happy. The speed has been there all weekend certainly in dry conditions and it was just fantastic to claim pole position this morning. For the wet race 1 we had some limitations but it’s great to bring it home in second position.

“It’s still really quite incredible where we are as it is so early in the programme so huge credit to the entire BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, what they are doing is outstanding. I’m really happy to now have two podiums on two consecutive weekends.

“It would be nice for all guys in the garage if we could keep this momentum. As I said, we had some limitations today in the wet and we will try to improve that in the dry conditions tomorrow."