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Tom Sykes flying high in private Aragon shakedown

Factory Kawasaki star Tom Sykes continues to impress this season as he unofficially blasts the lap record at Aragon in Spain

Factory Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes obliterated the lap record at Aragon in Spain as he dominated the time-sheets at the conclusion of the private two-day World Superbike test on Monday.

Sykes lapped in a time of 1m 58.4s on Sunday, four-tenths under Carlos Checa's lap record, but on soft tyres today he went even quicker to record a 1m 57.2s lap, which knocks almost half a second off the 2011 pole time for the Spanish circuit.

BMW Motorrad riders Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri were also in fine form during the test as they experimented with a new swing-arm and suspension link, with Haslam also trying out a new specification engine.

Haslam was second fastest overal (1m 58.2s) followed by Sykes' Kawasaki team-mate Joan Lascorz (1m 58.2s) and the 2010 world champion, Max Biaggi, on the Aprilia RSV4 (1m 58.8s).

Championship leader Biaggi finished testing early after successfully evaluating a new evolution engine specification.

Biaggi wrote on his Twitter page @MaxBiaggi: "I tested a new engine and so far everything is ok. I'll use it in Monza only. We improved the lap time but Sykes flies."

Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty, still recovering from a hand injury sustained following an accident at Phillip Island, was sixth quickest (1m 59.5s) as preparations continue for the second round of the World Superbike Championship in less than two weeks time at Imola.

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