Leon Haslam is feeling prepared ahead of the first World Superbike round of the year in Australia after concluding his final pre-season test at Phillip Island.
Joining Aprilia, Kawasaki, DFX Ducati and Althea Honda in making final adjustments before their first competitive showing in just over a week's time, Stiggy Racing's Haslam and Roberto Rolfo were both pleased with the progress made since Portugal.
Haslam was the quicker of the two riders, securing a best lap time of 1min 33.1secs, but admits he was struggling with the Honda when the temperatures began to rise. Nonetheless, he thinks he is ready to live up to the top ten pace he has shown during testing previously.
“We have got a lot of things done over these days, we have been trying many different things on the bike mainly focusing on set-up and suspension as well the grip and tyre life,” he said. “I have been putting down many laps making a race distance run in the end of the day but with the temperatures rising in the afternoon we were struggling a bit with the grip but nothing major.
“We have found a good pace and I'm able to ride consistently. We definitely eliminated a lot of things over the days and I'm pretty confident for the race that we will be well prepared for it.”
On the other side of the garage, many eyes were on the progress of Rolfo, who has been vocal about the shoulder injury that prevented him from completing many laps at Portimao.
Nonetheless, the Italian returned to competitiveness over the two-day test, proving just four tenths slower than Haslam and managing a total of 185 trouble-free laps in all.
“I have to say that I'm really happy with how this test worked out. I have been able to ride many laps over the days and my shoulder is feeling so much better then last time in Portimao. Yesterday I was able to do 90 laps and today around 95 and my shoulder doesn't affect my strength even though this track has a lot of left corners. All the training and rehabilitation I have been doing for the passed three weeks really paid off!
“The bike is working well, we have found a good set-up from where we can now work from. The grip is pretty ok, but we still need to find some more in the rear. Today we did a long run and I was able to stay in consistent lap-times throughout.
“The bike is improving all the time and I feel more and more comfortable. The team has been working really well and now we can look forward to the race in a more positive way.”