Airwaves Ducati had a successful day of practice in both wet and dry conditions at the 2.356 mile Thruxton circuit in Hampshire. At the end of the two sessions 2005 British Superbike Champion, Gregorio Lavilla was placed 2nd and Leon Haslam 3rd, looking set to start where they left off at Donington Park.
Rain fell for the first hour long session, providing both riders with a valuable opportunity to test out the Ducati 999F06 on wet tyres. Haslam started the session in the lead before slipping down to 3rd where he finished with a best lap time of 1:23.220. Lavilla also started well but decided to end the session early with a best time of 1:23.861.
Second practice track was dry, subsequently the lap times were much faster and both riders were able to complete more laps. Lavilla led the field for most of the session, with consistently fast laps on his Dunlop race tyres. The Airwaves Ducati rider ended the session in 2nd place, completing 24 laps with a best time of 1:16.000. Haslam recorded a best time of 1:16.324, over 28 laps, to finish 3rd.
Gregorio Lavilla commented, "It's not been too bad considering we've only had one dry practice today. We have some things to work on with the bike and we are aware that tyre choice will be crucial on race day, obviously I am hoping that the race is dry but we had a wet practice today and I felt fine with those conditions too."
Leon Haslam was pleased with the days practice, "I am happy with things today, I am nearing last years race time in practice which is pleasing. We have some work to do on the bike before Monday but on the whole things are going well. We are very comfortable in the dry and can easily progress from where we are in wet conditions, as a result I am looking forward to the racing this weekend."
"In both the wet and dry sessions I was struggling with corner entry and we were wracking our brains to try and fix the problem. At the end of the day we tried a new rear shock and it took nearly half a second off my lap times so that was good progress and is something to build on.
"We have a new front tyre we want to try on Sunday that worked superbly at our Spanish test last month and I think could suit Thruxton well. I am really fired up for this weekend and will be working with my crew to improve the bike's set up before we are back on track on Sunday."
"I deliberately stayed out on track for a long time tyre testing and I have finished with a really nice feeling for my GSX-R1000. I am not looking for huge chunks anywhere but need small incremental improvements and that will be the way forward.
"I completed near race distance on a rear tyre and was recording my fastest laps towards the end, which means it's a strong contender for the races. I think just riding the bike has given me more confidence and on a new tyre I could have went a lot faster. Roll on Sunday and qualification."
Round three of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship commences on Bank Holiday Monday 17th April.
- 1: Karl Harris (Honda) 1:15.636
- 2: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 0.364
- 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.688
- 4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0,872
- 5: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.970
- 6: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +1.229
- 7: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +1.255
- 8: Michael Rutter (Honda) +1.415
- 9: James Haydon (Suzuki) +1.449
- 10: Michael Laverty (Honda) +2.073