Reigning British Superbike Champion Leon Haslam is dealing well with the pressure of being in the WorldSBK championship-dominating team at Phillip Island, ending the opening day third on the combined timesheet.

Haslam only used two rear tyres during the two free practices as he worked on race setup but still managed to finish with only a 0.155s deficit to leader Alvaro Bautista and 0.014s to team-mate Jonathan Rea.

“It is so good to be back here on Phillip Island. I am loving it with the KRT team and Kawasaki, making really good steps every session. My crew chief Marcel said on the Monday before the official tests that we wanted to go quicker in every session and I think we achieved that goal,” said Haslam.

“This session it has been barely a tenth better than this morning, but every session has been quicker. Step-by-step we are getting closer. I have used two tyres today, for two race runs, and I am feeling pretty good.

“The aim is obviously to challenge for podiums here. I have good memories of Phillip Island because last time I was here in 2015 I won a race. It would be nice to revisit that memory but it will not be easy. There are a lot of fast guys out there. We will work session by session now and see what we can do.”

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