Members of the ACU Road Race Academy have begun their preparations for the 2003 season with the first official Academy test day of the year at Mallory Park.

To help the riders get into gear for the day, the Academy enlisted the help of its regular coaching squad: ex 250 British Champion Steve Sawford and ex 125 British Champion and TT winner Clive Horton.

But joining them, to the delight of the youngsters, was multiple British Champion Niall Mackenzie [pictured], who helped with set up and general advice, while former GP star Leon Haslam - and his famous father Ron - brought along bikes and gave some of the younger Academy riders some valuable on-track coaching.

As an example of just how helpful this was, 14-year-old Superteen rider Kev Coghlan spent a whole session following 'Rocket Ron' and took two seconds off his previous best lap time.

Meanwhile, Leon spent a number of laps chasing - and being chased - by Junior Superstock Champion Tom Sykes, both riders lapping the newly redesigned track in 56 seconds.

Exactly how beneficial the day was should become apparent at the first round of the British Superbike Championship, at Silverstone, on 30th March where the riders will compete in a variety of classes.



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