Haslam finds the pace in Jerez heat

Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam set the fourth fastest combined time in today’s two free practice sessions for round 10 of the 2014 World Superbike championship at Jerez in Spain this afternoon.

Fresh from his recent Suzuka 8-hours victory in Japan, the 30-year-old British rider fired his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP around the 4.423km Jerez circuit in a time of 1m42.881s, just two tenths behind provisional pole sitter Loris Baz.

Haslam’s Pata Honda team-mate Jonathan Rea, 27, was tenth fastest on combined times from today’s two sessions, which were run with temperatures in the mid-30s and a track temperature this afternoon of 55 degrees centigrade, but the Northern Irishman is confident of improvement tomorrow.

Following a third free practice session tomorrow morning, Saturday’s two afternoon Superpole sessions will determine final grid positions for Sunday’s two 20-lap Jerez Superbike races.

Leon Haslam Leon Haslam - P4We actually had a few issues in the first session this morning and most of the afternoon one, too, but the boys worked really well and we managed to get a good setting for the end. Hopefully we can keep plugging away but these hot conditions have definitely thrown a few different settings at us. I’ve felt pretty good the last few rounds and a few little issues have kind of determined the results, but at the minute, fingers crossed, everything’s going OK and we’re only a couple of tenths off.Jonathan Rea Jonathan Rea - P10Honestly, if you can look past the actual result, today’s been very productive for us. We started the day with a little problem but session two was good and we were able to try a new weight distribution on the CBR. There were some positives and negatives and we still need to maximise the set-up for that. Nissin have brought some new brake components for me to test and I’m finding a really positive feeling with that. Also my team worked hard on a new engine specification during the break and I’m still getting used to that as it has a quite different power character. Today we worked solely to get a good feeling and we took a little weight off the front in the middle of this afternoon’s session. I didn’t have the best feeling with that but we’ll look at the data tonight. We got a lot of work done today and I’m quite satisfied.Pieter Breddels Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinatorJonathan finished tenth today but we didn’t use any new tyres and concentrated on a few little things with the bike. Tenth might not look so good but we’re quite happy with the progress we made, especially in these hot conditions where we sometimes struggle. With Leon, the afternoon session was a little bit strange. We had a few issues and weren’t really moving forward until we changed the tyre. This transformed the bike and he was able to move up to fourth. Hopefully he can do some more of those fast laps tomorrow.* WeatherSunny * Air33°C * Track55°CFree Practice Results - combined times1 Loris Baz 1m42.677s FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team2 Marco Melandri 1m42.768s ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team3 Tom Sykes 1m42.813s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team4 Leon Haslam 1m42.881s GBR HONDA Pata Honda5 Davide Guigliano 1m42.896s ITA DUCATI Ducati Superbike Team6 Eugene Laverty 1m42.899s IRL SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki7 Chaz Davies 1m42.916s GBR DUCATI Ducati Superbike Team8 Sylvain Guintoli 1m42.995s FRA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team9 Toni Elias 1m43.067s ESP APRILIA Red Devils Roma10 Jonathan Rea 1m43.079s GBR HONDA Pata Honda


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