Haslam fastest in Albacete

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Leon Haslam continued to set the pace in pre-season testing when he set the benchmark lap time in the three-day Albacete test this weekend on the Airwaves Ducati.

Team-mate Gregorio Lavilla was marginally quicker on race rubber than Haslam, but the Brit was ultimately the fastest when he fitted qualifying tyres late on Saturday afternoon when Dunlop asked his team to test some new product.

Haslam said: “We’ve worked hard these past three days, trying lots of different settings. I’m really pleased with the bike and looking forward to the BSB test this weekend.”

Haslam had one crash on Saturday, when he went down on oil dropped by one of the local Spanish riders’ superbikes. 

He was unhurt in the crash but the 999 F06 was badly damaged and stopped him from doing a full race simulation run the team had planned.

Gregorio Lavilla was second quickest on qualifiers and put in a sensational race simulation run on Saturday afternoon – slashing 4.66s of an identical race run in testing last year to underline how improved the overall F06/Ohlins/Dunlop package is this year.

Lavilla worked through his test plan in two day and didn’t ride on Sunday. Haslam’s plan was interrupted by the crash so he continued riding on the final day.

Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Walker and Cal Crutchlow were lapping with two or three tenths of each other over the three days, and working through a lot different chassis changes.

Walker was 0.22s off Haslam’s best time over the three days. Crutchlow was seven tenths slower than Walker on qualifiers – even though he’d never seen the Albacete circuit before.

Karl Harris was quickly up to speed on the Hydrex Honda and reckoned it to be very similar in engine performance to the HRC factory bike he raced last year.

Harris crashed on the same oil, which brought down Haslam. He too was unhurt and the bike was relatively unscathed.

Michael Rutter spent all three days trying a wide variety of chassis settings with the brand new MSS Discovery Kawasaki to establish a base setting for the brand new ZX-10.

Albacete BSB times:

Leon Haslam Airwaves Ducati 1:29.85
Gregorio Lavilla Airwaves Ducati 1:29.96
Chris Walker Rizla Suzuki 1:30.07
Cal Crutchlow Rizla Suzuki 1:30.76
Karl Harris Hydrex Honda 1:30.77
Michael Rutter MSS Discovery Kawasaki 1:31.63
Dean Thomas Samsung Suzuki 1:32.4*
James Buckingham Quay Garages Honda 1:32.91
Tom Tunstall Hardinge Honda 1:34.20*
Guy Martin  Hydrex Honda 1:35.32*
*no transponders – sample times only


Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin