Haslam Gets It Started

Paul Carruthers | January 22, 2010

Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam was the man of the day in Portimao as the official World Superbike tests got rolling today at the Portuguese circuit with the Brit on top in both sessions.Haslam lapped at a best of 1:43.023 to lead the first session, then upped his pace to a 1:42.778 to lead the second as well. Ben Spies qualified on pole position for last year’s season-ender at Portimao with a best of 1:42.412.Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow ended up second best today, the Brit just a few tenths off Haslam with a 1:42.960 with those two riders the only ones to crack the 1:43 barrier. Another Brit, Jonathan Rea, was third fastest on the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, three tenths of a second better than Aprilia’s Max Biaggi. Rea crashed in the morning session and injured one of his fingers, but bounced back in the afternoon. And Biaggi also suffered a crash in the first session.Yamaha’s James Toseland ended the second session in fifth place, the former World Superbike Champion marginally ahead of countryman Shane Byrne on the Althea Racing Ducati. There were six Brits in the top 10 in today’s second session with Leon Camier riding the Aprilia to the 10th fastest time.Last year’s championship runner up Noriyuki Haga ended the second session in seventh place, one spot better than his factory Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio. Carlos Checa rode the second Althea Ducati to ninth.It wasn’t a great day for the Kawasaki team with Tom Skyes ending the session in 12th and former MotoGP star Chris Vermeulen even worse off in 16th. Team Pedercini Kawasaki’s Roger Lee Hayden, the only American in World Superbike, ended the second session in 20th with a 1:48.317 – .69 of a second better than he’d lapped in the opening session of his World Superbike testing debut.The factory BMWs of Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus ended up 13th and 15th, respectively.

Session Two – Friday

1.                  Leon Haslam (Suzuki) 1:42.778

2. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:42.960

3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:43.033

4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:43.364

5. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1:43.378

6. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:43.569

7. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:43.574

8. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:43.711

9. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:43.870

10. Leon Camier (Aprilia) 1:43.90320. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:48.317

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.