2012 World Superbike
Before the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island, BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam suffered a major setback.
Th Brit crashed during the official pre-season tests at the same Australian circuit last Monday, fracturing his right tibia and breaking a bone in his left foot. The crash arrived at Phillip Island’s quick turn one, and Haslam landed hard on his feet.
Due to the World SBK testing injuries, Haslam underwent surgery, having two screws inserted into his tibia. But despite having an operation only four days before the season-opener, Haslam participated anyhow.
The 28-year-old BMW S1000RR pilot battled through the pain, qualifying his superbike on top of third row in 12th.
Although not the best start, Haslam shocked the World Superbike paddocks with very respectively finishes in each 22-lap race at Phillip Island – 12th in Race 1, and fifth in Race 2.
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “Overall I’m really happy. We had a problem in race one, which I couldn’t ride around. Even though just scoring points was the objective, I knew I could have done better.
“The boys worked really hard between races: They changed engines, electronics and the balance of the bike, and straightaway we were able to fight for a top five position. It’s a big credit to all the team and the medical staff who managed to get me out there in the first place! I also want to express my condolences to the family and friends of Oscar McIntyre, who died in that tragic crash (Saturday).”
It wasn’t only Haslam who was injured during Phillip Island testing, though. Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty and Pedercini Kawasaki’s David Salom were also injured during crashes at the Australian circuit, but were able to start in the race.
The only rider missing from the grid due to injury was Cresent Fixi Suzuki’s John Hopkins; the American also crashed at Phillip Island during the private testing sessions mid-February, fracturing the same hand he had a finger amputated from due to a crash at 2011 Brno MotoGP (wildcard entry, Rizla Suzuki).
As for Haslam’s teammate Marco Melandri, the former MotoGP rider finished second in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2; it was his debut World SBK race on the BMW S1000RR.