Leon Haslam has extended his lead in the World Superbike Championship standings to 15 points after claiming a superb third win of the season at Kyalami.
The Briton was embroiled in a breathtaking exchange for victory during the second race of the day at the South African circuit, but while his first two efforts to pass long-time Jonathan Rea were spurned, his third and final effort on the penultimate lap proved enough to see him through.
Riding with a unique 'three golden lions' helmet to celebrate England's World Cup 2012 bid later this summer, Haslam's win – coupled to his third place finish in race one – has now increased his margin over Max Biaggi, much to his delight.
“What an amazing day! The second race was one of the best races I've ever been involved in and definitely one of the hardest. Jonny and I had a real ding-dong and it was bar-to-bar stuff for almost the whole race.
“I passed him a few times, but he always got me back and the longer the race went on I could feel him working out where I'd pass and how he'd stop me. In the end, I had to pass at a different place and this time I made it stick and held on to the flag.
“To win a race like that is quite an emotional thing and I have to give a big thank you to the whole team for all their work this weekend. The bike in the second race was an improvement over race one. We had a few issues in race one, so changed the balance by making a bit lower in the front and higher in the rear. I still had some issues with it, but it was better and allowed me to fight for the win.
“After the drama of race two, it's hard to remember what happened in race one. I didn't get a good start and had to make up a lot of ground as best I could. I wasn't completely confident in the front end, so could not push hard enough to catch Michel (Fabrizio) and Carlos (Checa), but I was happy to get on the podium.
“Today was a tough day, but I'm very happy to have extended my championship lead and I'm looking forward to the next round in USA.”