Gregorio Lavilla will start round 2 of the Bennetts British Superbike championship tomorrow from 2nd on the grid, with Leon Haslam on the 3rd row in 10th.
At an un-seasonally hot Thruxton circuit Greg was feeling at home in the Mediterranean weather. Having clocked the second fastest time in this morning's final practice the Spaniard was confident ahead of the 50 minute qualifying session. Leon Haslam finished morning practice in 5th having completed a substantial 30 laps.
Qualifying started well for the Airwaves Ducati team with both riders lapping consistently. Having completed 22 laps Greg recorded his fastest time of the day, 1:14.488, resulting in 2nd place on the grid. Leon then clocked a time of 1:15.236, his fastest time of the weekend thus far, putting him in 10th position.
After a sun-drenched qualifying session Leon was upbeat about his result saying, "Obviously I have not done as well as I had hoped today but I am still happy that I have completed a lot of laps and worked on a number of things with the bike. It was a difficult qualifying session but I'm not worried about starting from the 3rd row; I like this track and I am confident that if it all goes to plan I can still achieve a good result here tomorrow."
Gregorio Lavilla, championship leader, is confident for the race having secured his 16th front row start since joining the GSE Racing team. "I am happy with my result, it was my goal to get on the front row and I have achieved that so I am pleased. I gambled with my tyres today, as I did not use any qualifying tyres this afternoon. I wanted to concentrate on finding the best tyre for the races tomorrow which I knew could make getting a good qualifying position difficult, but I have still come away with a 2nd position which is great. I started from 2nd on the grid at Brands Hatch and I won both races so hopefully the same thing will happen tomorrow!"
"I am happy with our progress over the course of the weekend. Each session we have taken around four tenths of a second off our lap times and if I can achieve that tomorrow morning in warm-up then I'll be pretty close in the races.
"We've done a good job in qualification and traditionally I have never practised or qualified well here. For the races I'll be looking to get with the guys in front and see what I can achieve. With the fantastic warm sunny weather we should be in for a bumper crowd tomorrow and I'll be counting on the support of the fans."
"My Rizla Suzuki is working OK this weekend. The only area we are working on is stability over the high-speed bumps, but that is an issue that all bikes have around here. I just hope the weather is a little cooler tomorrow as it will make race tyre selection easier.
"Every lap I completed was on my own and I didn't get a chance to follow any of the other riders. Following fast riders and sitting in the slipstream will settle my bike down and help reduce my lap times. It's also encouraging that I have a bike that can top 200mph and is one of the fastest at the circuit - that'll help me to overtake tomorrow."
"Since Friday morning the team has worked really hard and we've just got better and better. There was a lot of work to do and the boys have come up trumps and we're now in good shape for the races. It was disappointing to drop off pole but last week we were seventh and now we're third, so I'm well happy."
"I'm reasonably happy but on the qualifying lap I made a mistake and that definitely cost me a front row start but its just one of those things. We've got a good race set up and a second row start which is good enough to win the race, so I'm hoping for a good start and some good consistent results tomorrow. "
The first of two 22 lap races commences at 1pm tomorrow with race 2 at 3.25pm.
- 1, Tommy Hill (Yamaha) 1m14.433s
- 2, Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 1m14.488s
- 3, Shane Byrne (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 1m14.644s
- 4, Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1m14.762s
- 5, Tom Sykes (Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda) 1m14.796s
- 6, Leon Camier (Honda) 1m14.938s
- 7, Chris Walker (Suzuki) 1m14.972s
- 8, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1m15.097s
- 9, Cal Crutchlow (Suzuki) 1m15.164s
- 10, Leon Haslam (Ducati) 1m15.236s
Sunday 15th April:
- 10.55 - 11.10; Warm up
- 13.00; Race 1 - 22 laps
- 15.30; Race 2 (Live on ITV1) 22 laps
- ITV1 Broadcast; 14.50 - 16.20