Leon Haslam has described his first victory with HM Plant Honda as getting a monkey of his back after inheriting victory in the second Bennetts British Superbike race of the day at Knockhill.

Haslam was determined to get over the disappointment from the first race when he suffered a mechanical problem, one that prompted him to come off his bike, albeit at low speed.

However, it initially looked as though Haslam would miss out on a chance of victory in the second race when the race was stopped after nine laps whilst he was leading comfortably.

Indeed, although he started the 20-lap sprint on pole position again, he lost out at the start and spent the race trying to close down the gap to leader Shane Byrne.

Nonetheless, when Byrne crashed with only six laps to go and prompted an early culmination to the race, Haslam was promoted up to the top step of the podium to record his first win of the season and his maiden victory on the Honda.

While he admits Byrne's misfortune was not the way he would have liked to have won, Haslam insists he was confident he could have mounted a challenge in the closing stages anyway.

"That's such a relief! It feels like I've got a monkey off my back, as this win's been a long time coming! The team have worked so hard so it's great to finally give them the reward for it. Obviously it wasn't the way I wanted to win it, with Shane Byrne falling off, but I was reeling him in after he'd pulled a bit of a gap through backmarkers so I felt the win was mine.

"It also made up for the disappointment of the first race. I was slowing down to come into the pits when Shakey caught me and knocked me down at very slow speed. This fires me up for the rest of the season and I'm looking forward to Cadwell Park."

Consolidating fourth place in the standings, Haslam becomes the sixth different winner this season.


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