Leon Haslam & Gregorio Lavilla rode some of the fastest laps ever seen at Oulton Park today to finish 1st and 3rd in qualifying. Leon set the fastest ever motorcycle lap of the circuit, repeating his Thruxton performance, and in the process went over a second quicker than the lap record set last year by his team mate, securing pole position with a time of 1:35.120. Gregorio guaranteed his front row start in 3rd with a time of 1:35.490.
In final free practice the Airwaves Ducati riders led for much of the session, swapping the lead between them, until Harris and Byrne both put in fast laps to push Leon into 2nd with a best time of 1:36.437 and Lavilla into 4th with a best time of 1:36.531 where they finished.
This afternoon's qualifying session remained dry despite cloudy skies. Early on Lavilla clocked a superb lap of 1:35.536 to take 1st which was quickly followed by Haslam who rode a 1:35.721 lap to take 2nd. With minutes of the session remaining Haslam then improved further with a time of 1:35.120 to take the lead for the final time, 0.349 seconds ahead of Harris in 2nd. Lavilla qualified 3rd with a lap of 1:35.490.
Leon's second consecutive pole position puts him 1 point ahead of Gregorio Lavilla in the Audi Quattro Performance Award, a competition decided by qualifying results, but knows he needs to convert his qualifying performances into wins. "Obviously I am really happy with pole position and it's looking good for the race. The session was dry so I am confident for the race in these conditions but having said that I won at this circuit in the wet last year; either way I am excited about the race and I hope it goes just as well tomorrow."
Gregorio Lavilla will start on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's races and is confident he can continue the consistently quick times he achieved in qualifying. "Yesterday I had a bad feeling about the bike, its settings and my performance but we have fixed the situation and I am very happy now. We could have been 1st and 2nd but I made a mistake on the second to last corner because I was pushing too hard and I still managed to do a 1:35.4 so I am feeling great about tomorrow. It was my goal to achieve a front row start and I have done that so I am happy with my performance today and I am looking forward to tomorrow's races."
"A big thank you to my Rizla Suzuki technicians for improving my bike so much over the course of the weekend, they have worked wonders and I am happier now than ever before on the GSX-R1000.
"I recorded my fastest ever laps of Oulton Park on race and qualifying tyres today. I now have to go out and get results tomorrow."
"I am disappointed to end up fifth in qualification but today has been a trying day for me. I woke up this morning feeling terrible with the flu and have been visiting the medical centre to take a saline drip to keep hydrated. I then crashed in qualification and I'm sure I'll be stiff later on.
"Overall my feeling on the bike is real positive and I like Oulton Park. There are no points awarded today but tomorrow is when it counts and hopefully I'll be feeling better for the races."
- 1: Leon Haslam (Ducati) 1:35.120
- 2: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.349
- 3: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.370
- 4: James Haydon (Suzuki) +0.521
- 5: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) +0.903
- 6: Michael Rutter (Honda) +1.046
- 7: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +1.059
- 8: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +1.559
- 9: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +1.568
- 10: Glen Richards (Honda) +1.588