Eugene Laverty secures Silverstone pole
Ireland’s Eugene Laverty adapted best to slippery conditions as he grabbed pole position for the British round of the World Superbike Championship in a bizarre Superpole session at Silverstone.
The Kawasaki pair of Tom Sykes and Loris Baz both thought they had pole in their keeping before Laverty timed his run to perfection in tricky wet conditions to top the timesheets.
Carlos Checa will start from second ahead of Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea in third. Sykes was in ominous form heading into Superpole 3 after topping the times in free practice and qualifying but he faced a challenge from his team mate Baz for pole.
The Frenchman smashed the Silverstone lap record only for the Brit to beat the time and shoot to provisional pole.
However, rain started to fall with more than half of the session remaining bringing out the red flag and a wet session declared.
According to the rule book, if 50 per cent of the session has not been completed then all the times are wiped and the session is restarted, thus denying Sykes pole.
Once the session resumed Baz, Fixi Suzuki’s Leon Camier and Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea headed out early and posted times to provisionally claim the top three places.
With the rain becoming progressively heavier, Baz’s time looked safe for pole as the minutes ticked by with Sykes still in the garage and yet to set a time.
The riders returned to the track with less than a minute remaining and it was Aprilia’s Laverty who mastered the conditions to grab pole from Baz.
Carlos Checa and Rea also improved upon their times to move into second and third dropping Baz to fourth.
Sykes managed to post a time good enough for fifth on the grid ahead of Chaz Davies and Camier. Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli, who is suffering from a painful shoulder injury, was seventh in front of Aprilia’s Davide Giugliano and Jules Cluzel rounded out the top 10.