Haslam clings on for maiden victory

The Briton wins by just 0.004secs from a charging Michel Fabrizio having led from lights to flag
Leon Haslam has won the first World Superbike Championship race of his career after dramatically holding off Michel Fabrizio's last minute slipstream across the line to win by a mere 0.004secs

Although the pole man led from start to finish, Fabrizio looked to have denied Haslam at the death when he got a better run out of the final bend to pull alongside down the start-finish straight.

Indeed, while Fabrizio was initially declared the winner, the resulting photo finish tipped the result back in Haslam's favour.

His first victory in 61 World Superbike attempts, the win also marks Suzuki's first since Max Neukirchner triumphed at Misano in 2008.

A race that built in tension as the laps counted down, although Fabrizio nosed ahead at the start through the sweeping first corner, Haslam held the throttle around the outside to reclaim the position into turn two.

Just behind, Haga shrugged off his warm-up woes, when a collision with Ruben Xaus sparked a mammoth accident and a rush to get his bike rebuilt in time for the race, to clamber his way up to third place from tenth on the grid.

Jonathan Rea rose to fourth from seventh, ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Carlos Checa, although fifth and sixth place qualifiers Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz went in the other direction as they completed the first few turns in 15th and 14th.

With Fabrizio and Haga disputing second, the Ducati Xerox team-mates swapping positions twice during laps two and three, Haslam promptly set about putting air between himself and his rivals.

However, despite rallying initially to stretch his advantage to more than half a second over Fabrizio, both the Italian and Haga gamely clung on to establish a three-way fight for victory, with fourth place Rea seemingly unable to maintain the rapid pace.

Related Pictures

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Haslam, Australian WSBK 2010
Haslam, Australian WSBK 2010
Fabrizio, Haslam, Crutchlow, Bayliss, Australian WSBK 2010
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Haslam, Australian WSBK Race 1 2010
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you lot are mugs - Unregistered

February 28, 2010 2:09 AM

I JUST FOUND out haga took a hydro cortisol pain killing injection right before the race. 99.9 % of the people out there would have been bed ridden after a crash like that let alone spanking a 200 bhp + monster around phillip island. Haga = hard as nails A fit nori would have battled haslam for sure rather than sat behind em damn im so glad this is back missed it really have !

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