Leon Haslam says his priority throughout Friday's free practice at the opening round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship was race pace and testing out different Pirelli compounds but was still able to top the times for JG Speedfit Kawasaki.

The 2016 BSB runner-up has started the year on the front foot after a positive winter adapting to the new-look JG Speedfit Kawasaki outfit.

Despite not hunting single lap pace Haslam jumped top with a 1m 29.323s - over one second off his 2016 pole position time at the Leicestershire track - at the end of FP2 to lead the BSB pack into the first round of the year.

"It's been a really good day, we stuck to the plan and it has been really positive," Haslam said. "We did a run on the hard tyre this morning and a run on the soft tyre this afternoon, which is new for this year, and made some finer tweaks to the bike. So, all in all a good day and to end up fastest is really encouraging.

"Over the winter we created a team with a new bunch of guys and how they are going to gel is an unknown but in testing it couldn't have gone any better. All the boys are working really well together so it is already looking an exciting year and I feel confident. At the minute, we are purely concentrating on race pace and we still ended up on top so that must bode well.

"Throughout this winter my bike has been refined from last year with new swingarms, engine tuner and a different way of controlling the bike electronically, different suspension and a new crew. It is about getting an understanding over the winter and putting it all together but it doesn't stop there."

 

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