Leon Haslam is confident he has the bike, team and support to launch a title challenge in the MCE British Superbike championship with JG Speedfit Kawasaki and feels it is down to him to be the difference.
With just over one week until the 2016 season opener at Silverstone Haslam wrapped up pre-season testing at the Northamptonshire circuit, after confirming he will attend the Donington Park test but not ride on Thursday, and is content with how he has adapted to his new surroundings having arrived from the factory Aprilia World Superbike squad.
Haslam, who last competed in BSB eight years ago, has consistently produced top times during winter tests and left Silverstone quickest after pinching the headlines from Michael Laverty with his final lap of the day.
“I'm happy we got through a race run and tested all the parts we wanted,” Haslam said. “We are not fully content and there are some things we want to push on and solve to make better but to finish the test fastest is always nice. I'm looking forward to putting into action what we learnt today.
“We've still got to push on with a few areas but to be here just before the first round at Silverstone we can be happy. We are aiming to win that is always the goal and now I've got the bike and the team so it is done to me now.”
Haslam also had the opportunity to assess his rivals both on track and on the timesheet as the Silverstone test acted as the first time the BSB grid came together as a full complement.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is wary of Tyco BMW and Bennetts Suzuki in the early rounds as they return with experienced hands on older machinery, while Haslam is adapting to life back in BSB with the new Kawasaki ZX-10R.
“We saw the two Tyco BMW riders out in Spain and they were both super quick with the same bike from last year,” Haslam said. “Tommy Bridewell and Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Suzuki started the sessions quick because the bike is already sorted. In Spain I know Shakey was having issues with the Ducati but looks to have it sorted so they are all getting it together. We need to keep improving before they do.”
Despite the much cooler conditions compared to the last time BSB came to the Northamptonshire track, for the penultimate round in early October, Haslam's time would have been enough to comfortably reach Q2 on last year's qualifying times while less than a second split the top ten.