Wet but drying conditions did little to dampen James Haydon's enthusiasm on his debut for Rizla Suzuki at the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.
Haydon recorded the sixth fastest time on the treacherous 2.69-mile circuit during free practice. The wet conditions were challenging for Haydon as he spent time getting to grips with the powerful Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. He is standing in for John Reynolds at Oulton and Mondello Park as the British Superbike Champion recovers from a broken right leg.
Rizla Suzuki ace Scott Smart was seventh and right behind Haydon in practice. He rode well within his limits and is hoping for full dry conditions tomorrow. Honda's Michael Rutter was fastest.
Racing at the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 2nd, at Oulton Park in Cheshire. It will be shown live on Sky Sports with a follow-up highlights package broadcast on Channel 4 the following Sunday.
"I am learning the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 and building up my speed gradually. The wet weather isn't ideal for bedding myself in but I did plenty of laps and I felt comfortable on the bike.
"I like the throttle response and gearbox on the Rizla Suzuki - I feel completely in control. So far I am really enjoying myself and hope that we can make some good progress tomorrow."
"I did quite a few laps but there wasn't much to learn given the wet track conditions. It was damp into the corners and I wasn't going to take many risks during practice.
"We have a plan for tomorrow that includes a bit of set-up work and tyre testing. I just hope it is dry, it's much more fun when the sun is shining."
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
"James did a sterling job on his debut for the team today, especially when you consider the damp track conditions. He completed a lot of laps, found a comfortable position on his Rizla Suzuki and gave good feedback to his crew.
"Scott completed plenty of laps and is optimistic for this weekend, despite suffering from a mild cold. Like us all, he is hoping the weather improves over the weekend and we have a dry and sunny race day."
- 1: Michael Rutter (Honda) 1:42.384
- 2: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +1.620
- 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +1.935
- 4: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +2.630
- 5: Steve Brogan (Honda) +3.138
- 6: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +3.395
- 7: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +5.219
- 8: Sean Emmett (Yamaha) +5.818
- 9: John Laverty (Honda) +6.081
- 10: Michael Laverty (Honda) +6.215