Leon Haslam comes away from the fourth round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship at Monza with mixed emotions after scoring his second BMW podium in race one, before being punted out at the start of race two.
Having shown strong pace during free practice and qualifying, Haslam was in fine form throughout race one as he diced with Marco Melandri, even staving off a couple of errors – including running on at the first corner chicane – to get back into the podium fight.
Though he didn't have measure of Max Biaggi, who fell into Haslam's clutches when he also made a mistake, the 2010 runner-up was otherwise pleased with the consistency of the S1000RR, an area where the bike has struggled so far this year.
“To be honest, in race one I didn't get the best of starts,” he said. “I also made a few mistakes in the early laps, which meant I had some work to do to catch the leading bunch. Still I felt like I had the pace to run with the leading guys. Max and I held each other up slightly, which saw Eugene get away at the front, but on the whole I was happy with the race and the bike.”
Hoping for an improved result in race two, Haslam instead found himself on the receiving end of a first corner accident when he was hit by Jonathan Rea, himself having been clipped by Carlos Checa. The uncomfortable fall would leave Haslam with a broken toe, though he doesn't expect it to cause any lingering problems.
“In race two I was hit from behind at the first corner on lap one. I am not a hundred per cent sure what happened, but I crashed out of the race after getting a much better start. Following the crash I was taken to the medical centre where it was confirmed that I have broken a toe on my right foot. I don't see it being a problem for our forthcoming test or the races in Salt Lake.”
Haslam holds sixth in the overall standings, just five points behind Jonathan Rea in fourth.