Leon Haslam is confident of ending his first season as a BMW rider in the World Superbike Championship on a high around Portimao following his return to the podium at Magny-Cours.
The Briton scored a third podium of the season in France, his first since Monza, and came on the weekend that it was announced he would be joined by 2011 WSBK runner-up Marco Melandri, who switches from the outgoing Yamaha team.
Looking to consolidate fifth in the standings, Haslam admits Portimao could be troublesome for the BMW, due to its tendency to wheelie on the gradients, but he is hopeful he can find an optimum set-up.
“We are looking forward to the season finale. The last few races we have been getting the most out of our RR, which gives me confidence. Sure, we still have some small issues, but we will work on them. It is the last round of the year and we are still pushing for the first win.
The track is very up and down, and there are a lot of gradients in the circuit. This is sometimes difficult, as the bike tends to wheelie on these parts of the track.
“As such, it is a challenge to find the right set-up for these characteristics. Last season I had two second places, so it is a circuit that I enjoy. The weather looks very good for the weekend, so we are optimistic that we can have another good race.”