Leon Haslam feels he could have been starting on the front row for the third round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Assen, but for chatter issues with the rear of his BMW.

The British rider came into the weekend keen to take another step towards a victory challenge following a strong outing at Imola, but will now have a task to do so from seventh on the grid after failing to get the best from the S1000RR during Superpole.

Complaining of rear chatter, Haslam was frustrated that the changeable weather conditions prevented him from dialling out the bike's set-up, a set-back that would see him out-qualified by BMW Italia rider Michel Fabrizio.

Nonetheless, Haslam says he is satisfied with seventh position and is confident he will be able to make gains during the races.

"I felt quite happy with this morning. We were consistently one of the fastest guys out there. In dry conditions this weekend we have issues with the rear of the bike giving me some chatter. This is something we are working on hard, but as the conditions have been changing a lot it has been difficult to have a full session to properly resolve it.

"Given that, I am actually quite happy to be starting from the second row, but I am disappointed as well because I know that without the difficulty we could have challenged for the front row."

Team-mate Marco Melandri, meanwhile, was left a disappointed ninth after late improvements saw him nudged out of the crucial top eight shootout.

"For sure I am disappointed with the qualifying result. In the dry we have good pace here but the first Superpole was very difficult. It was raining around the track, but not everywhere at the same time. I saw many riders crashing so even if it had been dry in the last few minutes, I was not confident enough to push.

"I think I made a mistake but it was definitely better than crashing. Now we will see what is possible tomorrow. It is not easy to pass on this track, but I feel okay for the race."


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