Round 8 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway at Scotland's Knockhill Racing Circuit today. Airwaves Ducati riders Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla both lapped the Fife circuit well within last year's lap record of 49.65 seconds and finished the two free practice sessions 2nd and 3rd fastest.
Haslam completed a total of 39 laps during the first 50 minute practice session and topped the timesheets with a lap time of 48.93. Lavilla meanwhile completed 27 laps and finished in 7th position with a 49.83.
Both riders consistently improved on their lap times during the second 50 minute session. Haslam with a best lap of 48.77 to finish 2nd and with less than four minutes of the session remaining Lavilla set his fastest time of 48.79 to finish 3rd, just 0.02 seconds behind his team mate.
After practice Lavilla commented, "For this afternoon's session we made some changes to the bike which meant that I could lap consistently quicker than I went this morning. We managed to do a lot of work on set-up and tested a number of tyres to try and find the best solution for tomorrow's qualifying. For sure we still have some work to do but I am confident that we can improve further tomorrow."
Haslam was pleased with his first and second place in practice saying, "I'm really happy with how things have gone today. We didn't have our best results here in 2005 but both myself and Greg are under the lap record time and this afternoon I was just 0.065 seconds behind Rea so I think things are looking very good for us so far."
"My Rizla Suzuki is good. I have a comfortable front end that is giving me plenty of confidence in the brakes and turning in. We have worked hard today on finding rear end grip and it is getting better every time I ride the bike.
"I am building my speed and we have more changes to try and improve the bike tomorrow. With a bit of luck the good weather will stay for race day and I will be able to challenge at the front."
Qualifying for Round 8 takes place at 2.40pm tomorrow, Saturday 14th July.