It puts both Rizla Suzukis firmly on the provisional second row while Honda’s Jonathan Rea was fastest. Both Rizla Suzuki racers are confident they can cut their lap times further in tomorrow morning’s single free practice session before qualification takes place in the afternoon.
The 2.5-mile long Donington Park circuit is famous for hosting the British round of MotoGP Championship. The team and riders are benefiting from new garages and facilities that have recently been completed.
After the first round of the series, Byrne and Haydon lay equal seventh in the Championship.
“I tested both my bikes back to back and towards the end of the day I found a setting which I think will allow me to get down under the 1m 33secs barrier.
“We are going to try using the forks out of my first bike with the chassis of my second tomorrow morning and I have a feeling that will improve our lap times again. After that it will be making a final race tyre choice and then let’s see if we can challenge for the front row during qualifying.”
“I ended the day with my best set-up and fastest times so that’s encouraging. If it hadn’t rained in the last few minutes I think I may have been closer to the front row.
“We started with the bike set-up we found at our test at Guadix in Spain earlier in the week and ended up changing the suspension considerably to suit the fast and flowing nature of Donington Park. We tested various tyres and ended up with a strong contender for the races on Sunday.”
Niall Mackenzie - Race Operations Manager:
“For both riders to be on the second row at the end of the first day of practice is a step forward from our Brands Hatch position a fortnight ago. It also shows the test in Spain has given us additional momentum and there is a genuine feeling we can continue to improve over the weekend.”
Practice Times: 1: Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:32.331, 2: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.010, 3: Michael Rutter (Honda) +0.263, 4: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) +0.473, 5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.524, 6: Shane Byrne (Rizla Suzuki) +0.679, 7: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.811, 8: James Haydon (Rizla Suzuki) +0.871, 9: Michael Laverty (Honda) +0.912, 10: Glen Richards (Honda) +1.081.