Having broken clear as Honda's leading rider during the opening rounds of the 2009 World Superbike Championship, Leon Haslam is predicting a tougher challenge as he aims to secure his fourth and fifth podiums of the year at Monza this weekend.

Haslam and the freshly graduated Stiggy Honda team have been the upset of the season so far, with the Briton claiming a WSBK-best of second in race two at Assen.

The #91 will start this weekend's fifth round holding a brilliant third in the championship behind only Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies, and 14 points clear of factory Ducati rider Michel Fabrizio.

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The next best Honda rider is presently Ten Kate's Jonathan Rea, 41 points behind Haslam in ninth.

"I'm really looking forward to the Monza round, especially after setting such a good result at Assen," declared Haslam. "I think it might be a little bit more difficult this time because of the fast nature of the track and the fact that most of the top teams have tested in Monza before the race, but I like a challenge and I hope we can have a similar result if not better."

Haslam will be joined by Jake Zemke, who will replace the injured John Hopkins.