Sykes pips Laverty to pole position in Monza

Updated: Saturday, 11 May 2013 17:05

Tom Sykes broke the lap record as he claimed his third consecutive World Superbike Championship pole position at Monza.

The Briton, who won at Monza last season, guided his Kawasaki around the Italian circuit in one minute 41.223 seconds, breaking Max Biaggi's record from 2011.

Next on the grid will be Eugene Laverty who was eight one-hundredths of a second behind, with championship leader Sylvain Guintoli third on the other Aprilia Racing Team bike.

All three riders went lower than Biaggi's previous best of 1min 41.745secs but it is Sykes who starts from the front of the grid.

The top three were engaged in a tense battle all the way through SP3, with Laverty the first to lower Biaggi's mark only for Sykes to go quicker shortly after.

Guintoli had initial problems but managed to post his best time with his final lap to complete the front row.

The Frenchman currently tops the standings on 111 points with the chasing trio of Sykes, Laverty and Welshman Chaz Davies 28 points back.

The Honda of Jonathan Rea will start from fourth with Marco Melandri (BMW GoldBet) and Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) completing the second row.

The Suzukis of Jules Cluzel and Leon Camier are next with Davies starting from ninth on his BMW.