Courtesy of MCE British Superbike Championship
Michael Laverty ended the final official test ahead of the opening round of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship at Silverstone (8/9/10 April) in dramatic style by snatching the top spot in the closing seconds of the day from Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne at Donington Park.
Tyco BMW’s Laverty had topped the opening session of the day, but Byrne fought back when they next hit the track to put the Be Wiser Ducati team at the top of the times. However in the final session the pair went head-to-head in the closing stages as the four-time champion held the advantage into the final minute, but Laverty fired in a final fast lap that moved him ahead by just 0.044 seconds.
Laverty said: “It feels good to end the test fastest as it is a bit of bragging rights before the first round if nothing else. We are in a really good position and my one off lap isn’t my strength at the moment, so to have done the times we have consistently is great as I don’t feel we have maximised the potential at all yet.
“The continuity of staying with the Tyco BMW team for this year has put me in this position and I genuinely feel that we are the strongest out there at the moment, both over short stints and the longer distance. I knew that we would be able to pick up where we left off at the end of last year and we will keep going as we know that everyone else will keep improving too. I definitely have a much better feeling now than I did at the start of last season.”
Byrne split the two Tyco BMW team-mates as Christian Iddon continued to push himself into the top three as he prepares for his first race with the Northern Irish team at Silverstone. He held off hard-charger Luke Mossey as the 23-year-old continued to prove that he is ready to fight for a return to the podium during the 2016 season.
Honda Racing pairing Jason O’Halloran and Dan Linfoot had been equally matched throughout the test as they continued to switch position, but the Australian had the narrow upper hand at the end of the day as they now turn their attentions to Silverstone.
Ryuichi Kiyonari held the seventh place spot on the leading Bennetts Suzuki as the three-time champion continued to work through his test programme with the team as he bids to claim a fourth title crown this year.
Rookie Glenn Irwin showed impressive pace to finish the day in eighth position on the second Be Wiser Ducati, narrowly ahead of Alastair Seeley and Danny Buchan as all five manufacturers that featured on track today were represented in the top ten.
Filip Backlund suffered a broken collarbone after crashing at Goddards and the Quattro Plant Cool Kawasaki rider will undergo surgery this evening and will be forced to miss the opening round of the season at Silverstone.
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Official test, Donington Park, combined times:
- Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 1m:29.298s
- Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.044s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.630s
- Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +0.634s
- Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +0.669s
- Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.733s
- Ryuichi Kiyonari (Bennetts Suzuki) +0.864s
- Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +1.007s
- Alastair Seeley (Royal Air Force BMW) +1.069s
- Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +1.121s
It’s now the final countdown to the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship which kicks off at Silverstone on April 8/9/10.
For more information visit www.britishsuperbike.com