Leon Haslam joined Ben Spies in criticising Ten Kate rider Jonathan Rea after claiming his Honda counterpart had him 'across the grass about four times' during the second World Superbike race of the day at Imola.

Haslam was amongst several riders to be embroiled in an intense fight for fourth position in the early stages of race two, the Stiggy rider getting caught up with Shane Byrne, Marco Simoncelli, Spies and Rea.

However, while Haslam claims he had a better package in the second race, compared to that of the first when he crossed the line in sixth place, the time he lost battling with Rea cost him the chance to finish higher.

"It was hard work out there today," he said. "The set-up was better in race two but we went with the wrong tyre for the second race, my decision because the temperature had gone up.

"Plus Johnny put me across the grass about four times, and that cost us a lot of time. If we had worked together we could have got up to the back of the group that actually got to the podium.

Eventually crossing the line in eighth, Haslam was nonetheless happy with his two solid results, particularly given he will be working alone for the final few rounds.

"Eighth in race two was not the best of results, but sixth on race one was better. We have had a few issues this weekend, but we have overcome them and we were running as fast as the leaders in the mid-part of one race. All-in-all, we improved over the weekend."

Although he admitted to mistakes during race day, Rea added that he was struggling with brake issues too.

"I got a bad start and it turned into a bit of a dog fight, with people chopping me off and letting the brakes go again when I'd passed them.

"I made a few mistakes after that, but something also happened with the brakes, which had a bad vibration and the power was inconsistent."


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