Bennetts British Superbike series leader Leon Haslam spent the opening day at Thruxton evaluating which tyre he’ll run in Sunday’s races.
The notoriously abrasive Hampshire circuit has always plagued the JG Speedfit Kawasaki star. It is the only venue on the calendar where he hasn’t stood on the top step, and in recent years it has been a keen hunting ground for his rivals.
Haslam has struggled with tyre life at Thruxton before, but this year Pirelli have introduced a tougher rear tyre in order to cope with the blistering sometimes seen from the high speeds and abrasive surface. However, the 35-year-old is yet to decide which tyre he’ll chose come Sunday.
“We’re trying to understand the tyres, how they are wearing, how much you can try and where you can push on,” Haslam said said. “It’s such a weird circuit, it’s never really suited me in the past. You can’t be aggressive, it’s not about going fast it’s about conserving tyres and different bikes conserve different tyres in different ways.
“We have tried all three tyre options today, we started on the normal SC1 (harder option) and then tried the new SC1 option (stiffer; for Thruxton only) and then I did a couple of laps on the soft. We’ll run the soft for qualifying but we need to do a longer stint on the new tyre to see how that works over race distance.
“We’re very conscious of that and we’re trying to work on what’s going to be best for the race, we’re making progress but we’ve still got a bit more to go.”