Leon Haslam's Airwaves Ducati will start from second place on the grid in round three of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone tomorrow. Gregorio Lavilla starts from the second row in 6th.
Greg completed 28 laps and clocked the second fastest time in this morning's practice and was confident for a good qualifying session this afternoon. Having slipped off yesterday, Leon used practice to finalise his bike set up, finishing the session in 10th.
For much of the 50 minute qualifying session Greg was 2nd, clocking consistent mid 1 minute 26 times, as he completed a race run. Leon was also completing a full race distance simulation when the session was red flagged on his 20th lap. Following the re-start both riders completed a few laps before changing to qualifiers with minutes to go. They then completed one flying lap each, with which they both recorded their fastest times of the day. Greg clocked a time of 1:26.032 to put him in 6th, whilst Leon recorded a time of 1:25.406 to finish 2nd just 0.023 seconds behind Kiyonari.
After qualifying Greg was satisfied with his result saying, "Practice was good today, up until the last 10 minutes. I had gone out with a qualifying tyre on which did not feel great so I decided to go back onto soft race rubber. I then only got to do one good lap on it, as I ran out of time and was not able to complete a second lap which was disappointing as it felt good. I am still confident for tomorrow though, the bike is in really good shape and I'm feeling good too."
Having fallen yesterday Leon did not to let a sore thigh affect his session saying afterwards; "I am over the moon! I went out there this afternoon with the aim of getting a race run done, which went really well considering my leg. I was just happy to get a feel for the bike and, as we had made a few changes, I was more focused on getting the set up right for tomorrow as opposed to qualifying fast. I then got the one good lap right at the end which has put me second and, even though we are not lapping as quickly as we did last year, I am really pleased with my result." Leon also took the opportunity to thank the Airwaves Ducati team adding, "The bike was written off due to my crash yesterday and the boys put in a massive effort to rebuild it to perfection. So I must thank them for all their hard work and dedication."
"The effort it takes to ride a Superbike on the limit is incredible. I gave it my all in qualifying and earned my second row start.
"My Rizla Suzuki feels hard at the front and soft at the rear. It's a situation we are working on but it isn't easy to sort because if we soften the front it hampers our braking performance. Overall the package isn't bad though - it's certainly close to the pace and we'll be working to make it better in warm-up in the morning."
"My Rizla Suzuki is absolutely mint when I am riding it on a qualifying tyre - the extra grip gives me so much confidence. On race tyres it moves around a little but it is now becoming more predictable and I enjoy riding it.
"We still have a decision to make on which tyre we will use in the races. I will be aiming for a good start and to hang on to the riders in front of me; my target is the top six."
"I'm a bit gutted really, the first qualifier would have definitely gone better but I got blocked a couple of times by other riders. I had a good couple of laps and then I hit a neutral and I just lost all the drive. We're on the front row so I can't be too disappointed and we've got a good race set up for tomorrow's races."
"I'm very disappointed with that, I put my qualifier in and another rider spoilt my run and I've ended up back on the third row which means I have a lot of work to do. Our race pace is brilliant and we've got a good race set up, so I'll just have to make sure I get a good start but a second row start would have made life a lot easier."
The first 20-lap race gets underway at 12.40 followed by the second one at 15.20 which is live on ITV1.
- 1) Ryuichi Kiyonari - HM Plant Honda 1:25.383
- 2) Leon Haslam - Airwaves Ducati 1:25.406
- 3) Shane Byrne - Stobart Vent Axia 1:25.616
- 4) Jonathan Rea - HM Plant Honda 1:25.688
- 5) Chris Walker - Rizla Suzuki 1:25.816
- 6) Gregorio Lavilla - Airwaves Ducati 1:26.032