Leon Haslam has hinted he could have been on the front row for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza, but was satisfied with fifth after getting caught out by traffic.
The championship leader maintained his strong qualifying record in Superpole as he breezed into the shootout, but once there he would abort his first attempt when he cut a chicane. He would then have his two best laps hampered first by James Toseland and then by Tom Sykes.
Despite this, Haslam has faith in his Suzuki's race set-up and expects to be fighting for a third victory of the season.
“I'm disappointed not to be on the front row, but I am pretty happy with my bike and feel confident about the races tomorrow. I was on a quick lap in final Superpole, but got pushed out wide by James (Toseland).
“So I thought I'd go for it on the second lap, but this time Tom (Sykes) was on my racing line and I had to go round him to get past and lost time in the process.
“It's good that the first turn is a long way from the start and as long as I get off the line well I'll be with the front guys for sure. The first chicane is going to be tight and I hope nobody tries to do anything stupid there on the first lap.
“I think that a wet race might be better for the championship, but I guess we'd all rather prefer two dry races and a lot of close-quarter racing. We're probably going to get that anyway!”