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Plucky Haslam rewarded for epic recoveries
5 September 2011
Leon Haslam had reason to be pleased with his run fifth and ninth position in the two World Superbike races at the Nurburgring with both being achieved after off-track moments.
The Briton was striving for a strong result on home soil for employers BMW, but having worked his way into a comfortable fifth position in race one, Haslam's hopes of a good finish appeared to have been scuppered by a run off the circuit that dropped him to 14th.
Nonetheless, Haslam collected himself together to push his way back into contention, taking advantage of a close mid-field pack to make remarkable progress in the second-half of the race, not least on the final lap when he snatched back fifth from Sylvain Guintoli. It was a result that gave him much satisfaction, if some frustration at the same time.
“In race one I had a good start and managed to pass two guys. Then I tried to bridge the gap to Eugene Laverty. I just pushed a little bit too hard, got a false neutral and ran off the track. To be fair, I thought the race was over. But I got my head down and managed to get back to fifth. I am happy to have managed that, but disappointed I ran off. But the battling was certainly fun.
It was a similar story in race two as Haslam attempted to make ground in the atrocious weather conditions, only to fall on lap three. Nonetheless, Haslam resumed with consistent pace, but while he was pleased to salvage ninth, he says he could have gotten higher had the race run its full course.
“In the second race I felt really good. The crash was my fault. I clipped a white line, which in these conditions is not good, and I went down. I managed to get going again and climb all the way up to seventh, but the race was stopped before I crossed the line, the results were taken from the lap before, and so I was ninth.
“The conditions out there were really bad, and it probably should have been stopped earlier. I think I could have got on the podium today because my times at the end were really good, but it was definitely the right decision to stop the race.”
Despite his dramas, Haslam has strengthened his fifth place in the standings, pulling a 22 point margin over sixth place man Leon Camier.
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