The Airwaves Ducati team had a satisfactory start as the action got underway at Silverstone today. Having rolled out of the garage on their new look Black Mint Ducati 999F06's all eyes were on the championship leading pair. They ended the day with Leon Haslam coming third in both sessions and team mate Gregorio Lavilla coming 4th and 7th.
In first practice both Greg and Leon's times were consistent although they were not leading the field. Then after a red flag halted the session they returned to the track with both riders improving on their times. In the closing minutes of the session both riders recorded their fastest times with Greg recording a 1:26.478 to finish 4th behind Leon in 3rd with a best time of 1:26.328.
Second practice was much the same with both riders fighting for places at the top of the field. Greg set his fastest time of 1:26.823 early in the session then with 25 minutes left Leon set a time of 1:26.182 to put him in 2nd, however this was bettered by Jonathan Rea resulting in his 3rd place finish. Greg was unable to improve on his fastest time from the morning leaving him 7th at the end of the day.
After practice Greg commented, "We started well this morning and I felt positive after the first session but this afternoon we made a few changes which have not been so good. We are hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow so we can alter a few things and hopefully improve on today. I like Silverstone as a track but I need to feel a bit better on the bike and have everything working as it should before I can enjoy it more."
Current championship leader Leon Haslam said, "I am happy with the bike and how things have gone today, I have had a go on both my bikes and tested out some tyres. I did 18 laps on one of the Dunlop tyres and the race is 20 laps so I feel good that I have been able to do that. I know I have a lot more to come and I am only a few tenths off the fastest from today so on the whole I am confident for a good performance this weekend."
"I need to familiarize myself with riding a motorcycle at race speed. I eased myself in gradually this morning and then in the afternoon pushed a bit harder. My bike is quick but I need it to hold its line through corners a little better and then I can go even faster.
"It's great to be back - there is nothing worse than missing races when you are itching to ride. I can't wait to make more progress tomorrow."
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne:
"I tested both my bikes and found that one was significantly better suited than the other to Silverstone's fast flowing corners. The engine and power delivery are awesome and now we need to work on getting through the corners a bit quicker.
Qualifying for round 12 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship commences at 2.20pm tomorrow.
- 1: Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:25.928
- 2: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.098
- 3: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.254
- 4: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +0.302
- 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.666
- 6: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.692
- 7: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.895
- 8: Michael Rutter (Honda) +0.915
- 10: Billy McConnell (Yamaha) +1.473