Leon Haslam continued his rich vein of form in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship by securing his fourth win in five starts at Croft.
The HM Plant Honda rider secured a brace of podium finishes from the trip to the North East and now lies second in the championship standings after climbing ahead of Tom Sykes in the overall standings.
Haslam qualified in fourth place on the grid and had climbed up to second after just two laps having battled ahead of Michael Rutter and team-mate Cal Crutchlow. Chasing down Tom Sykes, who appeared to be struggling with his Rizla Suzuki on the high-speed run through the Jim Clark Esses, Haslam hit the front on lap seven having dived down the inside at Tower but was unable to keep a charging Leon Camier behind him in the closing stages and had to settle for second place.
However, in race two, Haslam made amends with a fine ride to victory, despite dropping a place to fifth off the line. Having worked his way up the podium places, he had a heated battled with Camier for position before getting the edge over the Airwaves Ducati man and in the closing laps, managed to battle past both Crutchlow and Sykes for victory to add to his Knockhill success and his Cadwell Park double.
“In the first race I saw Tom struggling a little with traction and made my move,” he said. “Eventually when I was in the lead I began to lose a little traction myself, so I tried to keep things steady but then Leon Camier came past and he was so smooth there was nothing I could do to beat him, which was disappointing, as I wanted to have four in a row – which no-one has done so far this year. I guess this made the win in the second race very satisfying for me.
“I didn't get the start I wanted in the second outing, but managed to fight through and then keep ahead of Tom to the flag, despite the fact that he was pretty fast through the last few corners! It's a credit to HM Plant Honda to win the second race, as they changed a few things on the bike to make things easier for me.”