Haslam pips Laverty to top spot in final minute of Silverstone test
Jason O’Halloran tenth in Silverstone BSB Test
Michael Laverty looked set to end the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship official test at Silverstone on top, but in a dramatic final minute of the session Leon Haslam edged marginally ahead with the fastest time of the day by 0.122s.
The final session of the day was a battle for honours at the top of the times and Christian Iddon, Haslam, Danny Buchan, John Hopkins and Dan Linfoot all had a spell at the top but Laverty held the leading position into the final five minutes.
Haslam was on the attack in the closing seconds though and the ‘Pocket Rocket’ stole the leading position on his final lap, as he now looks ahead to his MCE BSB race return next weekend April 8/9/10.
“Today has gone really well; for me to come to Silverstone one week before the first race was a big test of where we are at, and how what we have tested in Spain works now we are back in the colder conditions. So far we have evaluated two more things that we needed to do and we have had a good race run. It seems to all be going to plan, we want to keep pushing and improving but I am leaving here really happy with how the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team have worked together here.”
Filip Backlund pushed for a flying lap on the Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki, forcing his way up the order to third just ahead of Iddon, who was pushed back to fourth place on the second of the Tyco BMWs.
Danny Buchan had sat out the first session, but the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati fought back with a vengeance to move fifth on the combined times ahead of Dan Linfoot who was the fastest of the Honda Racing trio.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne was seventh fastest on the Be Wiser Ducati ahead of ePayMe Yamaha’s John Hopkins with Richard Cooper and Jason O’Halloran completing the top ten, covered by just 0.844s.
“Everything well pretty well, we were quite lucky to get out, it was quite cold and a bit damp this morning but to be fair we had three really good sessions, got in plenty of laps. Good for me to ride here as I missed last year’s race, so I haven’t ridden here for perhaps a year and a half, so really nice to get the opportunity to do some laps before next weekend. We sort of validated the changes we made in Spain, the settings that we made over there, we are not too dissimilar to there, just a few tweaks to help with the bike steering, and we made a good job in the last session.
“I am happy, but for sure be nice to be further up the timesheet, but I didn’t really get a lap together in that last session, had to pass a few people and what not, so really happy. Peaking to come back here next week, happy to back and ready to get the season started now. We have got Donington on Thursday, a few more tweaks there then ready to get on the grid and start racing and I’m looking forward to it.
Billy McConnell was 26th overall, 3.53-seconds off Haslam, while fellow South Australian Levi Day was 28th on the combined 600cc timesheet.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Silverstone, official test combined result
Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 2m:06.182s
Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +0.122s
Filip Backlund (Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki) +0.223s
Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.233s
Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +0.392s
Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.481s
Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.642s
John Hopkins (ePayMe Yamaha) +0.762s
Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) +0.790s
Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.844s
The teams return to Donington Park on Thursday (31 March) for the second official test ahead of the opening round of the season at Silverstone on April 8/9/10.
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