WSBK: Leon Haslam Closes Gap on Biaggi

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World SBK Results

After the summer break, Leon Haslam and his trusty Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 was looking forward to the 11th round of this year’s Superbike World Championship at the Nurburgring in Germany this coming weekend.

The race track is situated relatively close to the team’s headquarters, almost like a ‘home event’ and the fifth time that the Superbike World Championship has visited the 5.137 kilometre circuit.

Haslam defied the pain barrier in the second Superbike World Championship race at the Nurburgring in Germany, taking a motorcycle racing podium despite a dislocated right thumb and damaged knee ligaments.

The Team Suzuki Alstare World SBK rider crashed at the start of race one when he was high-sided and it was fortunate that the race was red-flagged and he and the other fallers were able to make the restart.

His bike was too badly damaged to take part in the restart, so he was forced to use his spare bike – one that he had only used for a handful of laps in practice and qualifying.

The set-up and feel of the bike were different to that of his number one bike, but he rode superbly to take a very creditable sixth place. That was impressive enough, but in race two he surprised everybody with his grit, determination and fighting spirit to take third place.

Leon Haslam (World SBK Race 1 – 6th and Race 2 – 3rd) says: “My crash in race one was a highside and I am sorry that it caused Troy to crash also. Luckily the race was stopped and everybody was able to have another go. I had hurt my right thumb and left knee and they were very sore, but I was determined to get out there and give my all.”

“Once the race started, the adrenaline kicked in and I think I would’ve been much faster and more competitive if it had not been for the fact that I was on my number two bike. The mechanics weren’t able to repair my number one bike in time for the restart. I had only done a few laps on the spare bike and so the set-up wasn’t as good and it was that which prevented me challenging the front guys, not my injuries.

“The team repaired my number one bike in time for race two and I felt much happier. They and the Clinica Mobile staff did great jobs and it was thanks to both of them that I was able to get on the bike and take a podium. I’m sure I’m going to be pretty sore tonight and although I would’ve wanted a couple of wins today, I was happy to get on the podium and with 100 points possible in the next two rounds, anything can happen.”

Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam was 60 points behind series leader Max Biaggi prior to the German racing rounds and despite Haslam suffering a dislocated thumb and knee injuries, he trimmed the gap to 58 points, with two full rounds to go.

World Superbike Championships (after 11 rounds of 13): 1. Biaggi 397; 2. Haslam 339; 3. Rea 288; 4. Checa 224; 5. Crutchlow 217; 6. Haga 202; 7. Toseland 187; 8. Guintoli 69; 9. Camier 164; 10. Fabrizio 160. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 409; 2. Suzuki 360; 3. Ducati 342; 4.Honda 299; 5.Yamaha 285; 6. BMW 190; 7. Kawasaki 77