BMW’s Tom Sykes has taken his tally of Donington WorldSBK pole positions to seven this morning, topping the qualifying timesheets in mixed conditions with Kawasaki duo Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam joining him on the front row.
The session began wet with everyone on wets but as the track dried, a mix of tyres were employed with Alex Lowes on full wets and Alvaro Bautista putting on the Q tyre in order to try and make up some places.
But it was the King of Donington who read the conditions best, putting in a 1’29.711 to take top spot with Rea almost a second in arrears and Haslam another half a second further back.
BMW stand-in rider Peter Hickman put his wet weather prowess and Donington experience to good use and added another UK passport to the local rider lockout of the Superpole ceremony, as he stands in for the ill Markus Reiterberger, grabbing fourth
A strong and crowd-pleasing ride, reminiscent of the ‘good old days’ when British one-off and wildcard riders ran the regular WorldSBK riders hard.
Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) placed fifth and was the top Yamaha competitor - and top Independent
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba Ducati) finally managed to put in the Pirelli qualifier but was still only sixth, as he had been on Friday.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) placed seventh, Alex Lowes (Yamaha) brushed off an early spill at Goddards for eighth, Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha) ninth and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) tenth.
Recovering Michael van der Mark didn’t put a time in that was fast enough to make it into the 107 per cent cut-off so technically didn’t qualify but will be allowed on track later.