World Superbikes: Reigning champion Tom Sykes crashes out of qualifying as Sylvain Guintoli takes Phillip Island pole

The Frenchman set a lap record with his final Superpole run, while Sykes escaped unhurt and will start in eighth

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The Independent Online

Sylvain Guintoli secured pole position for the first two races of the World Superbikes season with a record lap at Phillip Island.

The 31-year-old Frenchman rounded the Australian circuit in a time of 1 minute 30.038 seconds during the final Superpole session on his Aprilia Racing Team machine, edging out Davide Giugliano's Ducatti by one hundredth of a second.

Guintoli's Aprilia team-mate Marco Melandri will complete the front row after beating Voltcom Crescent Suzuki pair Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes into third place, with Pata Honda World Superbike's Jonathan Rea setting the sixth best time.

Reigning Superbike World Champion Tom Sykes is down in eight place, behind KRT team-mate Loris Baz, after a crash at turn nine, late in the session, cost him a run at pole position. He escaped the incident unhurt.