Leon Haslam is still happy with the feeling from the Honda CBR1000RR despite only taking it to eighth place in Superpole at Phillip Island. The problems began for the Briton in final practice with a crash reducing him to just seven laps in the session and Superpole wasn’t without its problems either.
“Superpole was a bit of a disaster, actually. We had a few issues in Superpole 1 and didn’t quite get it sorted. In Superpole 2 we had a misfire problem but managed to solve it and get out on a race tyre with about a minute to go, which just got me through. The qualifier just didn’t work but we thought it might have been a bad one so went out for Superpole 3 on the second one, but it was exactly the same. I was slower on the Q but all I had left was an old race tyre and that’s what I had to do the lap on. I was quite happy with that but disappointed with the other problems. We were trying something new with traction control in free practice and it kind of low-sided me off which was really strange. We lost most of that session so missed some track time when we wanted to try some things, but I’m not too worried. The feeling’s good, we just haven’t tested everything that we wanted.”
PATA Honda teammate Jonathan Rea will start alongside in ninth and was similarly disappointed although the Ulsterman expects the situation to improve before long.
“We’re not where we wanted to be because we had a lot of hopes and expectations that the changes to the bike over the winter would have given us a step forward. Compared to our competitors, we’re still in a relatively early stage of developing this new electronics package and, for now, it’s not really consistent enough to give me the confidence to push. That has also limited the amount of time we’ve been able to spend on finding some distance for the tyre and that’s still a concern for tomorrow’s races. My frustration is showing in my riding and we’ve struggled to move forward. I do have confidence in my crew though, and their determination to keep searching for something that will allow us to get something out of tomorrow’s two races. We’ll look through everything again tonight and come back relaxed in the morning ready hopefully to enjoy two 22-lap races.”