While Leon Haslam's final outing with the Stiggy Racing team ended on a sour note following a double DNF, it wasn't enough to deny him from finishing any lower than sixth in the final World Superbike Championship standings.
A troublesome day from the off, Haslam was left needing stitches after a crash in morning warm-up left him with a gash on his elbow.
Nonetheless, Haslam persevered in race one, overcoming tyre issues to run with the leaders until lap eleven when he suffered another accident and was forced to retire.
Although the fall didn't prompt any further injuries, it did require him to switch to his spare Honda CBR1000RR for race two, a bike that lasted only seven laps when a technical problem forced him to pull out.
Nonetheless, despite the disappointing end to the year, Haslam, who will make his first appearance for Suzuki Alstare at the upcoming post-season test in Portugal, was delighted with his top six finish in the overall stansings.
"In race one we had a few issues with the setup using a too hard front tyre. I ended up crashing because I was touching the shifter which was too bad as it would have been an easy top five finish otherwise. In race two we got the settings loads better and I just got past Spies and was in a big group of riders, up to the front runners.
“This was not the best of weekends but it has been a fantastic year so we just have to forget about today with the injuries and the crashes. It's been an awesome year and now I'm looking forward to the future."
Team manager Johan Stigefelt mirrored Haslam's sentiment following a year in which they have overcome financial woes to emerge as the best privateer outfit in their first season of Superbike racing
“We didn't have a good day today, we wanted to finish off the season on a high, especially as we started it off so well. But we have to remember that we were new to this class and that we still managed a sixth place championship finish, as the best privateer and among that several podiums, so we have to be happy with that.
“If we didn't have the problems we had with the settings and bike today, we would have been up there in the top for sure. It has been a long and very hard season for us and everyone in the team has deserved a good finish to the end of the season.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the guys in the team for their great and hard work and big thanks to Leon for his excellent performances. We wish him all the best for the future."