BSB: Haslam storms to the top at official test

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Leon Haslam lapped within a second of Shane Byrne’s lap record to top the timesheets at a chilly Donington Park to close the final pre-season test ahead of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

With conditions less than ideal and intermittent rainfall throughout the day, the first two sessions were rendered pretty much useless with just a handful of riders venturing out.

However, with a dry track and the temperature higher than it had been all day, most riders headed out for the final 90-minute session for some final testing before the opening round of the series gets underway next weekend.  

Haslam’s quickest time of 1’29.902 placed him 1.179 seconds ahead of rival and 2017 champion Shane Byrne, who was just 0.003 faster than Be Wiser Ducati team-mate Glenn Irwin.

Gino Rea was fourth quickest on the newly-liveried OMG Racing Suzuki with Luke Mossey and Christian rounding out the top six.

Michael Laverty was seventh fastest as he returns to the Tyco BMW squad ahead of the Yamahas of Josh Brookes and James Ellison. Tommy Bridewell completed the top ten on the Halsall Suzuki.

The series will be back in action as the paddock rolls into Donington next week for round one of the 2018 championship over Easter weekend. 

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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