WorldSBK Australia Superpole Results: Sykes on pole, Bautista crashes

Tom Sykes storms to pole position for the opening round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship as Alvaro Bautista suffers a crash

Tom Sykes - BMW Motorrad WorldSBK

Tom Sykes has become the first rider to achieve 50 pole positions in the WorldSBK Championship as he powered to the top spot ahead of the 2020 opener at Phillip Island, while Alvaro Bautista suffered a big crash ahead of his Honda race debut.

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK rider was in scintillating form in the closing stages of a frenetic session as he pumped in a 1m 29.290s with five minutes to go, setting a benchmark no other rider could get close to.

Only the third time a BMW rider has qualified on pole position in WorldSBK since the German manufacturer’s debut back in 2009, it is nonetheless an accustomed result for Sykes who further underlined his status as arguably the greatest qualifier in history by becoming the first person to reach a half-century of poles.

Having set the pace in all three practice sessions, Scott Redding might have been closer had he not made an error on his first flying lap with qualifying rubber, but a rapid second attempt was enough to secure him the front row on his WorldSBK debut.

Jonathan Rea completed the front row in third, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Yamaha and Leon Haslam on the Honda, who in turn ensured five different manufacturers inside the top five positions.

However, it was a bittersweet session for Honda after Bautista crashed with ten minutes remaining when he ran wide on the entry of Lukey Heights and came down heavily. Sending his CBR1000RR-R in a series of barrel rolls, though the Spaniard walked away from the incident he will start down in 15th place.

Michael van der Mark and Loris Baz consolidated Yamaha’s strong position in sixth and seventh, ahead of Alex Lowes, who in turn had three privateer Kawasakis for company in Sandro Cortese (Pedercini), Xavi Fores (Puccetti) and Maximilian Scheib (Orelac).

Further back, Eugene Laverty could only manage 13th for his BMW debut, while Chaz Davies was a lowly 16th in an 18 strong field already reduced by the withdrawal of the injured Leon Camier.

WorldSBK Australia Superpole Qualifying Results – Phillip Island

Phillip Island WorldSBK: Superpole Qualifying Results
PosDriverNatTeamModelBest Lap
1Tom SykesGBRBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 29.230s
2Scott Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 29.569s
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 29.598s
4Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 29.769s
5Leon HaslamGBRTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 29.859s
6Michael van der MarkNEDPata YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 29.863s
7Loris BazFRATen Kate SBK YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 29.970s
8Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.043s
9Sandro CorteseGERPedercini KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.072s
10Xavi ForesESPPuccetti KawasakiKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.222s
11Maximilian ScheibCHIOrelac Racing VerdnaturaKawasaki ZX-10RR1m 30.349s
12Federico CaricasuloITAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 30.369s
13Eugene LavertyIRLBMW WorldSBK TeamBMW S1000RR1m 30.369s
14Michael Ruben RinaldiITATeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.793s
15Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 30.963s
16Chaz Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R1m 30.966s
17Garrett GerloffUSAGRT YamahaYamaha YZF R11m 31.227s
18Takumi TakahashiJPNMie Althea HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R1m 33.879s
 Leon CamierGBRBarni DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RWithdrawn