Leon Haslam says he is happy to have clung onto the lead of the World Superbike standings after a 'hard day' in which arch rival Max Biaggi did the double for Aprilia.
Haslam came into the races with a 20 point lead over the Italian, but while he was the only rider to lead Biaggi on the track at any stage of the day, his eventual fourth and second place finishes weren't enough to prevent his rival from slashing his advantage.
Still, Haslam admits he was lucky to even finish the second race after a mistake on the exit of turn two caused him to get out of shape, the Suzuki bucking him out of his seat in the process.
Together with a grip problem in race one, Haslam was content to keep his consistent point scoring going to maintain a slender three point advantage overall.
“It was a hard day and I'm happy to leave Monza still leading the title race. Max was strong here and I knew it was going to be tough pair of races. The podium in race two was very hard work, but I didn't want to miss out on a podium today and kept battling away.
“I had a really big 'moment' in race two and was way out of the saddle twice in the space of a fraction of a second. Somehow I stayed on the bike, but it was a very close thing! After Cal crashed, Troy kept me on my toes, but Max was too far in front for me to catch so I just made sure of runner-up spot. I did something to my wrist when I had my 'moment' and it felt pretty sore, but I managed to carry one to the end.
“In race one, I lost contact with the leaders and then had a bit of a grip problem for the last four or five laps and couldn't get out of the corners as fast as I wanted. We made some little suspension changes (just a few clicks here and there) for race two and the bike was definitely better to ride.”