Haslam targets 'two good finishes' in Portugal

The Suzuki Alstare rider maintains his good early form to qualify on the front row of the grid in Portugal.
Leon Haslam is hopeful of turning his front row start into another World Superbike victory in Portugal, the championship leader suggesting he is focussed on setting his bike up for the races.

Haslam, a first-time WSBK race winner last time out in Australia, was tipped to challenge for pole position after holding the advantage on Friday, but despite also going quickest during the opening knockout phase of Superpole, he had no answer to Cal Crutchlow's record-breaking Q3 lap.

Eventually ending up in fourth position, less than a tenth shy of Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa in second and third, Haslam was satisfied with his grid spot, if not the performance of the qualifying tyres on his Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000.

“I'm really happy with the race set-up of my bike, but I'm a little unhappy that I didn't get my qualifying tyres to work as well in Superpole. I think I would've gone faster in Superpole 3, if I had used a race tyre, but the front row of the grid is OK.

“The track's grip has improved since yesterday and I was consistently able to do 1min 42secs on race rubber, so I'm feeling very positive about the races tomorrow. Today, when the track temperature was higher, the grip was not as good, but that happens quite often.

Looking ahead to the races, Haslam is eyeing two more good finishes in order to consolidate his advantage in the overall standings.

“In warm-up, we'll run back to back tests with both bikes, with just small adjustments to see if we can improve further. There were no dramas for me today, really, except one time when I was on a fast lap and got baulked by Max (Biaggi). Otherwise everything is OK and I'm looking forward to getting two good starts and two good finishes.”

Tagged as: Suzuki , superbikes , Haslam , Alstare

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GREG PETERS - Unregistered

March 27, 2010 9:34 PM

Leon is playing it cool. He will defnitely be in the hunt for a top three finish in both races. I won't be surprised if he wins one of them. It looks like he'll still be leading the championship standings after Hage & Fabrizio's disastrous superpole performance. I can't see both of them fighting they way from so far back in the field. The sheer quality of the riders ahead of them will make life difficult for them to get anywhere near the podium. However, stranger things have happened in racing.They must hope for lightning starts & misfortune to affect the front runners in order to gain ground & achieve decent results. It will be a tough ask though. Leon & Guinters,give it all you've got!

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