Leon Haslam says he is happy to have extended his lead in the World Superbike standings after a 'hard day' in which he was in the thick of the action throughout.

Eager to build on his advantage after qualifying on the front row in fourth, well ahead of key rival Max Biaggi, Haslam fell away rapidly in the opening race after discovering issues with the front-end of his Suzuki.

Dropping as low as 16th at one stage, Haslam hauled the GSX-R1000 up to an eventual 11th position, before post-race checks would reveal the tyre had deflated slightly.

Pumped up again for the second race, Haslam contended for the lead from the start, but while he briefly went ahead with seven laps remaining, he wasn't able to resist a charging Jonathan Rea.

Nonetheless, despite some boisterous racing amongst the close pack, Haslam says he enjoyed his run to second position.

"Today was very, very hard, but I am happy because I have extended my lead in the series. In race one I had a problem with the front end and was struggling in 16th after five laps. I wasn't sure if it was a brake problem, but when the bike was checked over after the race, the team discovered that air had escaped from the front tyre.

"It was a real struggle to keep going especially when I was with a couple of other riders, but I was determined to bring the bike home one way or another.

"The team changed the front discs and pads (in case they were part of the problem) for race two and I was able to do a normal race. It was a fantastic race, with plenty of close contact.

"Elbows were everywhere and we were close enough to touch each other's handelbars. It was very hard, but fair, and we all enjoyed it a lot. It must have been great for the fans and of course, having both podiums filled by Brits was also great."

Despite his first race result, Haslam's 11th and second place finish has actually seen him out-score Max Biaggi's sixth and fourth, the Briton eking his advantage out by two points to 20.


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