Airwaves Ducati's Leon Haslam started his bank holiday weekend off in style by finishing first in both free practice sessions at Cadwell Park today. His team mate Gregorio Lavilla came 6th and 7th at the challenging Lincolnshire circuit.
In the first session Haslam set consistently quick times, frequently dipping under the 1 minute 28 barrier. He completed an impressive 24 laps in the 50 minute practice achieving a quickest time of 1:27.41 to finish top. Lavilla had a less comfortable session finishing 1.06 seconds behind his team mate in 6th place with a quickest time of 1:28.47.
In the second practice Haslam again posted routinely fast times recording a number of 1 minute 27 laps with a quickest time of 1:27.35. He was only 0.003 seconds ahead of Karl Harris who he so impressively beat at Croft two weeks ago. Lavilla was quicker than he'd been in the morning, setting a fastest time of 1:28.19 to finish in 7th.
2005 British Superbike Champion Gregorio Lavilla was disappointed with his day's results saying, "Today was not what I expected, after we tested here in June I was confident that I would perform well this weekend but I am not as fast today as I was in the test. I have had a few problems and the data tells me I am using my brake in a different way so I have some things to overcome before I can start to perform at my best. It is a good circuit and I am looking forward to the race I'm just hoping it doesn't rain!"
With a win behind him and happy that all of his favourite circuits are left this season Leon was upbeat at the end of practice. "I am very happy; I went quicker today than I did when we tested here which I am really pleased with. We have a few minor problems to sort for tomorrow but I managed to complete a race run today and my 12th lap was the quickest of the session so I am feeling good for the race."
"I set my fastest time in the first session and tried new settings in the afternoon to improve my confidence in the front end of the bike. They didn't work as well as we had hoped and will make a few other changes for practice in the morning.
"I'm gunning for a front row start in qualifying. I really like Cadwell Park and it's great to be back here again after a two-year break - the crowd is always huge and enthusiastic."
"I think the time I have spent on the bike at the previous two rounds is now starting to pay dividends. As I become more familiar with the Rizla Suzuki I can push it a bit harder and faster earlier, and that has resulted in my best practice day position with the team so far.
"Cadwell Park is a brilliant track and as well as being my home circuit, it is one of my favourite in the world, full stop. I'll be doing everything I can to get on to the second row tomorrow."
- 1: Leon Haslam (Ducati) 1:27.353
- 2: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.003
- 3: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +0.223
- 4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.288
- 5: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +0.512
- 6: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.729
- 7: Gregorio Lavilla +0.842
- 8: Glen Richards (Honda) 1.302
- 9: Michael Laverty (Honda) +1.450
- 10: Steve Plater (Suzuki) +1.619
Qualifying for round 11 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship starts at 2.50pm tomorrow (Sunday 27th August).