BSB: British Superbikes test 2012 machines at Snetterton; Michael Laverty fastest
The Samsung Honda team ended yesterday's test at Snetterton fastest as Michael Laverty set the pace to head off defending champion and former team-mate Tommy Hill on the Swan Yamaha.
The Samsung team, who unveiled their new livery at Brands Hatch this week, had tested for two days at the circuit last week – and it showed as Laverty edged ahead of the field and ran consistent lap times.
'It has been good,' said Laverty. 'I am really happy as we were doing times consistently and we now look forward to the next test at Cadwell Park.'
Jon Kirkham dipped into the one minute 49 seconds lap times before a 190kmh crash at the end of the Bentley Straight into Brundle. He was unhurt and continued with the remaining sessions later in the day, and was feeling equally confident ahead of their next test.
Kirkham said: 'It was tough as there were quite a lot of bikes on circuit, but we were able to get straight down to some times.
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'In the second session I knocked 1.5 seconds off my previous lap time, but the next lap round I had the big crash; I bottomed the forks and learnt the hard way. The team rebuilt the bike and did a great job and we were happy with the end result after the final sessions.'
The test day also featured Norwich riders Jake Newstead and Alex Barkshire, who will be aiming to make an impact on the BSB support circuit this year, which visits Snetterton on May 25-17.
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• BSB testing top times – Snetterton (unofficial times): 1 Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) 1:48.5s; 2 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1:49.5s, Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) 1:49.5s; 4 Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) 1:49 (estimated); 5 Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda) high 1:49.s; 6 Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki) 1:50.0s.