Leon Haslam has hailed the local reception he received on the way to second place at Donington Park, the Stiggy Honda rider claiming their support helped spur him on to arguably the finest result of his career.
After just missing out on the podium in the first race with a run to fourth from ninth on the grid, Haslam made the most of accidents ahead of him for Shinya Nakano and Noriyuki Haga to move into second position, where he proceeded to spar with Michel Fabrizio and Shane Byrne.
Although he swapped positions with Fabrizio twice during the race, a decisive move on the Italian three laps from the chequered flag would see Haslam come away as only British rider to stand on the Superbike podium all weekend.
While the result matches his second place finish earlier in the season at Assen, the presence of the 61,000 fans made this a particularly special achievement for the local rider.
“It is great for British fans,” a delighted Haslam told Crash.net Radio
.”You are away in all these foreign countries when you are trying to do it for your team, your family and your country, but to come back and have that reception really spurs me on. Wherever I go now, I know I have the support!”
“I felt good in the first and second sector, but the Ducati was really strong in the final split and in the last three corners I could hear it behind me. I just tried to be smooth and make sure that if they wanted to pass me it'd have to be a big move.”
With four World Superbike podiums now under his belt this season, Haslam admits he has his sights set firmly on a first win now.
“One more step, that's all we need – we'll get it next time!”