Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam just missed out on a front row grid place today in final Superpole at the 10th round of the World Superbike Championship at Silverstone when he was held up by a slower rider on his flying lap.
He will now start tomorrow's pair of 18-lap races from the second row of the grid, just behind Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha). Crutchlow took Superpole today, with a blistering lap of 2:04.091 and with it, his fifth Superpole win of the season. Second was Jonathan Rea (Honda) with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) third and Jakub Smrz (Aprilia) fourth.
World Superbike points leader and Max Biaggi qualified jus one position behind Haslam in sixth. Haslam will surely be gunning to slow down Biaggi as he is beginning to run away with championship.
Haslam's teammate Sylvain Guintoli, ended with the 11th quickest lap in Superpole and will start from the third row of the grid.
Leon Haslam (5th, 2:05.595) says: "If I hadn't have been held up on my quick lap in final Superpole, I think I would've been on the front row of the grid. I think it was Ruben Xaus in the way, but that's how it goes sometimes. Fifth is not so bad because I am directly behind Cal on pole and, as long as I make two good starts, I feel I can be in contention tomorrow.
"I'm pretty happy with the bike set-up, but I'm always looking for improvements and we'll just try a few tweaks in the warm-up tomorrow morning: I feel fairly well dialled-in with the track now and much happier with the tyres than I was in the last round at Brno. My aim is to make two good starts and go all-out for a pair of wins or podiums. Hopefully Max Biaggi will be somewhere behind - preferably with a few people between me and him!"
Sylvain Guintoli (11th, 2:05.066) says: "It's the same story in that this championship is so close and competitive that the tiniest of margins can make such big differences. It was such a small amount between me and Superpole 3 and a shame I couldn't make it. But the good news is that I have a good feeling with the race tyres and I am much happier with the bike's set-up today. We've made good progress since the first practice. I feel I've got good race rhythm so we'll probably stick to what we've got now or very close to it.
"In one of my Superpoles, I saw a yellow flag and maybe I was a bit too cautious and eased off a bit too much - just to be safe. That was because of Toseland's crash, but perhaps I could've gone a bit quicker, even though the flag was out. I am ready for the big fight tomorrow and hoping to have some fun - especially as I have so many friends and family here."
Final qualifying & Superpole: 1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR-Yamaha) 2:04.091, 2. Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda) 2:04.763, 3. Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati) 2:05.083, 4 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Aprilia) 2:05.168, 5. Leon Haslam (GBR-Suzuki Alstare) 2:05.595, 6. Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia) 2:05.682. 11. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Suzuki Alstare) 2:05.066.