Round 5 of the British Superbike Championship promises to be another exciting event for Airwaves Ducati after Greg & Leon had two good practice session's at Mondello Park today. The Irish circuit saw the teams' first one-two last year but with poor weather expected over the weekend it may prove a more difficult task this year.
Leon Haslam completed the first 50 minute session in third place with a time of 1:40.955. Gregorio Lavilla finished 9th, setting a time of 1:41.935, after some alterations to the bike during the session.
In a rain interrupted second session Haslam held the top spot until the last fifteen minutes when Lavilla, Haslam and Kiyonari all posted lap record times.
The Airwaves Ducati riders finished the day in second and third after Gregorio Lavilla clocked a time of 1:40.022 just 0.006 ahead of team mate Leon Haslam in third. Kiyonari led the Airwaves Ducati duo with a time of 1:40.018 but there was only 0.010 seconds splitting the Honda from the two Ducati 999F06's.
At the end of the day Greg said, "I am happy with this afternoon's practice, this morning I was not entirely happy with how the bike was feeling. This afternoon was much better and it is good that we are performing as well as last year in practice but I am concerned about the weather as it looks like it may rain over the weekend and that will affect the race results."
After practice Leon confirmed his aims for this weekend, "Today's two sessions have been consistent and I am happy with my lap times. The bike feels good and my aim is to gain a good position in qualifying tomorrow and hopefully turn that into a good result on Sunday, but we will have wait and see what the weather does!"
Shane 'Shakey' Byrne:
"It's been a decent day for us. This morning I reacquainted myself with the twists, turns and bumps of Mondello Park and made some minor changes to my Rizla Suzuki for the afternoon. Those helped, the lap times came down and we now have more ideas how to improve further.
"After feeling so ill at the last round it is nice to be riding the bike at full fitness and strength. I'm relaxed and there is a lot more to come tomorrow, I think we can compete with the front runners this weekend."
"This afternoon we made some changes to my GSX-R1000 that took us in the wrong direction and I ended up posting a time slightly slower than in the morning. That was disappointing but at least we learned a lot.
"I am riding the latest development version of the Rizla Suzuki with the new fuel cell designed to centralise mass and improve braking and direction changes. The potential is huge and we come closer to unlocking it with every session."
Qualifying for Sunday's race commences tomorrow at 2.40 PM.