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Haslam tops opening Phillip Island test

Leon Haslam continues to establish himself as a potential title contender in 2010 by topping the timesheets during testing at Phillip Island.
Leon Haslam's confidence on the Suzuki Alstare continues to grow as he topped the timesheets in the first of four World Superbike test sessions at Phillip Island.

Since switching to the factory Suzuki team from Stiggy Honda, Haslam has emerged as an increasingly prominent threat to his rivals with star turns in testing at Valencia and Portimao.

Moving on to Phillip Island, where he scored a podium last season, Haslam was once again in impressive form as he edged out an army of Ducatis around the Australian circuit.

Despite missing out on the top spot, Ducati still had good reason to be happy with its progress since Portimao, with Noriyuki Haga emerging just four hundredths adrift of Haslam.

In addition, he was shadowed by Xerox team-mate Michel Fabrizio in third, Althea duo Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne in fourth and sixth, while Lorenzo Lanzi was an impressive fifth on his first outing of the year aboard the DFX prepared machine.

Beyond Haslam, Suzuki will also be pleased to see his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli comfortably make the top ten in seventh position, the Frenchman benefitting from having prior experience of the circuit from his days in MotoGP.

Aprilia, Honda and Yamaha followed in eighth, ninth and tenth, with Max Biaggi, Max Neukirchner and Cal Crutchlow filling the respective positions.

All 24 riders who are set to race at next weekend's curtain raiser are present for the Phillip Island test, with Lanzi, Jakub Smrz and Reitwagen BMW making their first appearances of the year.

With Lanzi in fifth, Smrz was 15th fastest on the PATA B&G Ducati, while all-new operation Reitwagen enjoyed a solid debut showing with Andrew Pitt out pacing both works Kawasaki riders in 17th and being less than a tenth adrift of BMW's own Ruben Xaus.

Josh Brookes was also notable for his 14th fastest time as he keeps Broc Parkes' seat at Echo CRS Honda warm, the Australian just behind Ten Kate's Jonathan Rea.

Elsewhere, James Toseland was 12th fastest, while Leon Camier was down in 18th as he learns his way around Phillip Island for the first time. Tom Sykes was 20th quickest.


Tagged as: Ducati , Suzuki , Haga , Haslam , Phillip Island

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