Leon Haslam is confident of his “base pace” with his factory Kawasaki following the Phillip Island test but isn’t focusing on returning to racing just yet.

The 2018 Bennetts British Superbike champion makes his full-time comeback to World Superbikes this year with KRT alongside reigning champion Jonathan Rea, replacing Tom Sykes in the setup, having last completed a full campaign at world level in 2015.

Haslam has used his entire winter testing programme to refamiliarise himself with the new World Superbike specification Kawasaki ZX-10RR, while at the two-day Phillip Island test his focus was tweaked for the unique and rear tyre-hungry demands of the Australian track which hosts the season opener this weekend.

Haslam ended the test third on the final session timesheet with a best lap of 1m 30.668s, with no qualifying tyres permitted for the test, and is relishing his return this weekend.

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“The biggest thing about this test for me was the average of the base pace, looking after the tyres, and managing that side of things,” Haslam said. “We are in a good place. I am not looking to the races just yet; I am looking to the practice session on Friday, because there are still a few things we want to try. I feel good and we are making the steps.

“Up until today we probably used the least amount of tyres compared to anyone else. We were just looking at race set-up and looking at a real specific plan of what we wanted to do, hence we were not posting really good one-off lap times and putting new tyres in.

“Our race times have been pretty competitive over both days. I had a bit of a go for a lap time at the end there but I got traffic on my first two laps and I think it was my fourth flying lap I did the 1m 30.6s. I think if we could have maximised the early laps, like everyone else seemed to be doing, we could have been a little closer.”

The 2019 World Superbike championship gets underway at Phillip Island this weekend (February 22-24) with the new three-race weekend format and will feat the first-ever Sunday sprint race.



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