Leon Haslam says he is determined to see out the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship at Portimao after making the difficult decision to withdraw from his home event at Donington Park.
The Pata Honda rider has been in recovery from a broken leg since it was sustained at Assen in April, but while he started the fifth round at Donington Park – reaching Superpole and even taking part in morning warm-up – he wouldn't start either race.
Conceding that missing out on Donington Park was the right decision, Haslam is now turning his attentions to Portimao, but admits it is a physical circuit to be making a full comeback at.
“It was tough to miss out on Donington but it was the right call. Even though I made Superpole, I wasn't able to ride the bike how I wanted in order to do the lap time. To do two 23-lap races would've been really tough, but I know that the leg will be better at Portimao.
“I've been getting more physio and trying to build up the quad muscle in my left leg, which has wasted a bit after not doing much for over a month. I came out to Portugal a couple of days early to get some sun and the weather hasn't disappointed, but Portimao is another physical circuit. Donington is tough because of the heavy braking, but all the ups and downs at Portimao mean you really have to muscle the bike around.
“With the next round at Imola, I've probably got the three most physical circuits on the calendar for my comeback! I enjoy Portimao though, and got my first Superbike podium for Honda as a wildcard back in 2008, so I'm looking forward to see how we get on.”