Leon Haslam makes WSBK history

Phillip Island Win

Coming down the final straightway at Phillip Island during race 1 of the opening round in World Superbike, Michel Fabrizio appeared to take the win. The Xerox Ducati Team began celebrating, but their reverie was cut short due to closest finish in World Superbike history.

Leon Haslam beat Fabrizio by 0.004 of a second as the Team Suzuki Alstare rider became part of history by winning his first WSBK race, in one of the series’ fastest races (average speed around 107mph). Haslam didn’t enter the books only for the close finish, but also for becoming the 63rd rider to win a WSBK race in the series 23-year history.

Not bad for the Brit, considering it was his debut as an official rider with an official team. But the 26-year-old is no rookie to the series; he has 62 WSBK starts and eight podium finishes (including both Phillip Island races) on superbikes from Ducati, Honda and now Suzuki.

The rider with the most class wins is Carl Fogarty with 59, followed by Troy Bayliss with 53, Noriyuki Haga with 41 and Troy Corser with 33.

The rest of the riders have 16 wins or less, including James Toseland (16), Ruben Xaus (11), Chris Vermeulen (10), Max Biaggi (4), Makoto Tamada (3), Lorenzo Lanzi (3), Michel Fabrizio (3), Carlos Checa (3), Shane Byrne (2), Max Neukirchner (2), Jonathan Rea (2), Andrew Pitt (1) and Leon Haslam (1).