Sykes scorches to Magny-Cours Superpole

Tom Sykes boosted his World Superbike title chances by scorching to a record lap in the Magny-Cours Superpole while standings leader Max Biaggi could only take 10th.

Superbikes - Imola WSBK: Sykes edges Rea to lead first qualifying

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Tom Sykes

Briton Sykes needs to win both races on Sunday and hope Biaggi finishes outside the top six in one of the races.

The other rider still in with a shout, Marco Melandri, was fourth. After a poor run of form and with just a maximum 50 points available, Melandri stands 38.5 points behind his Italian compatriot.

Reigning champion Carlos Checa and Ireland's Eugene Laverty were second and third and will start on the front row.

Qualifying specialist Sykes smashed the French circuit's lap record of a minute 37.490 seconds with a time of 1:36.950. Checa also bettered the previous record.

Sylvain Guintoli was fifth at his home race with French compatriots Loris Baz and Maxime Berger 14th and 15th respectively having dropped out in Superpole 1.

Jonathan Rea was at the head of a quartet of Britons in positions six to nine, with Leon Haslam, Chaz Davies and Leon Camier following.

Welshman Davies missed FP1 altogether due to technical issues and most of the second session following a crash.

Camier announced prior to the session that he has signed a new contract with FIXI Crescent Suzuki.

Superpole times

1 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki 1'36.950

2 C. CHECA ESP Althea Racing Ducati 1'37.422

3 E. LAVERTY IRL Aprilia 1'37.516

4 M. MELANDRI ITA BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1'37.658

5 S. GUINTOLI FRA PATA Racing Ducati 1'37.901

6 J. REA GBR Honda 1'38.252

7 L. HASLAM GBR BMW Motorrad Motorsport 1'38.280

8 C. DAVIES GBR ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia 1'38.425

------------------------------------------------- Superpole 2 --------------------------------------------------

9 L. CAMIER GBR FIXI Crescent Suzuki 1'38.072

10 M. BIAGGI ITA Aprilia 1'38.095

11 M. FABRIZIO ITA BMW Motorrad Italia 1'38.318

12 C. CORTI ITA Pedercini Kawasaki 1'38.516

------------------------------------------------- Superpole 1 --------------------------------------------------

13 L. BAZ FRA Kawasaki 1'38.548

14 M. BERGER FRA Red Devils Roma Ducati 1'38.727

15 D. GIUGLIANO ITA Althea Racing Ducati 1'38.807

16 L. ZANETTI ITA PATA Racing Ducati 1'39.354

------------------------------------------------- Others in Grid --------------------------------------------------

17 A. BADOVINI ITA BMW Motorrad Italia

18 H. AOYAMA JPN Honda

19 J. HOPKINS USA FIXI Crescent Suzuki

20 A. LUNDH SWE Pedercini Kawasaki

21 N. BRIGNOLA ITA Grillini Progea BMW

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