BSB: Haslam confident after strong winter tests

1 of 1

Leon Haslam was brimming with confidence after the completion of a successful Spanish testing programme with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team. 

Taking the package that took Haslam to a 33-point lead over eventual champion Shane Byrne ahead of the final round, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki squad have made significant improvements over their winter testing programme to eradicate some of the issues Haslam felt held him back last year.

The team first tested at Jerez back in November before returning to the track in the south of Spain in January and then going on to two further circuits, Monteblanco and Guadix this  month. 

At Monteblanco, Haslam’s time of 1’36.3 placed him 0.3 seconds quicker than second-placed Glenn Irwin and 0.7 seconds quicker than the man who beat him to the 2018 title, Shane Byrne.

“We made a number of changes to the bike for our first winter test at Jerez in November and we were back at Jerez in January,” Haslam explained. “Those tests were really positive and everything we’d tried was straight away better than what I had last year.

“However, when you only test at one track you don’t really know how it’ll translate elsewhere so it was good to bring it to some other tracks where we haven’t been before and go up against Honda who have been here a lot and Shane who is our main rival. The bike felt amazing, I’d say these have probably been some of the best tests we’ve ever had, the time came easy and we were consistent in both the wet and the dry.” 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing