Crash.Net WSBK News
First mission accomplished for Haslam
27 February 2010
Leon Haslam is confident he is just one day away from winning his first World Superbike race after securing a maiden pole position on his Suzuki debut at Phillip Island.
Putting his impressive pace during testing into practice, Haslam was the man to beat throughout Superpole, topping both knockout phases before a single effort of 1min 31.229secs in the shootout was enough to edge Michel Fabrizio by 16 thousandths of a second.
A maiden pole position in 31 attempts, as well as Suzuki's first since Nurburgring 2008, Haslam is now better placed than ever to break his victory duck.
Indeed, the 26-year-old feels especially positive about his race set-up, adding that it is his tactic to get a solid start before pulling ahead during the latter stages of the race.
“I am absolutely delighted to get my first Superpole victory but the results in the races tomorrow are more important. Sitting in the garage watching the other guys go round in final Superpole and seeing their times falling was more nerve-racking than being out on the track and riding and it was a great relief when it was over.
“Today once again we concentrated on getting a good race set up and did a lot of time on race rubber getting ready for race day. From previous data we knew there was a certain way of working at this track to keep progressing and we did that rather than just chase any lap times.
“My aim is to be in the first three in the first eight or nine laps and that will put me in a good position at the end of the race. It is not what you can do in the first five laps, it's what you do in the last five laps here that is most important
“Although this is my first race weekend with the team, everyone is working together fantastically well. I have felt at home here at Suzuki Alstare since the very first time we tested and the boys have made my life easy.”