Leon Haslam is placing emphasis on getting a good start if he is to challenge for victory in the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship at Kyalami.
The championship leader will start from fifth position on the Suzuki Alstare and while he was disappointed to miss a spot on the front row, he maintains his strong race pace should ensure that he is 'there or thereabouts' nonetheless.
Despite this, Haslam is especially focused on starting well as the traditionally dusty and bumpy surface off-line is likely to make overtaking difficult.
“I'm pretty happy with fifth place today and I actually prefer it to fourth because it is a better place from which to attack the first turn. It's an easier run and as long as I get a good start, I'm sure I'll be there or thereabouts.
“I'm happy because my race pace is good and my lap times on race rubber are good. It's going to be a tough day tomorrow and any one of about six or so riders could win a race. Kyalami is a difficult track to overtake on because there's more or less only one racing line. When you get off that line, to pass somebody for example, it's easy to get on a dirty and bumpy part of the track and make a mistake.
“The first corner is not very far away and after that there are a series of corners where it would be impossible to pass, so good starts are vital. Tomorrow morning we'll make a a few little tweaks to the bike and see if we can improve it further. But, if not, then it's ready to race and so am I.”
Haslam's closest title rival, Max Biaggi, will start alongside him in seventh position.