Leon Haslam is anticipating he will ‘adapt a little bit faster’ when he returns to Imola for round five of the 2019 World Superbike Championship having raced at the Italian venue last year.

The reigning British Superbike Champion rode an iconic ELF-liveried Puccetti Kawasaki at Imola last season, picking up a top ten finish on the ZX-10RR, but he is looking for considerably more when he returns this weekend aboard the factory Kawasaki Racing entry.

The Briton currently sits fifth in the standings with a pair of podiums to his name in 2019, but despite ‘mixed memories’ of the venue, he is looking forward to competing there again.

“Imola is going to be a good race because after Assen, it was a disappointment. I felt we had good pace for the podium there but with the front tyre issues we had, we dropped back. To finish where we finished off the podium was not a nice way to go into a long break.

“We are heading into Imola now and I actually raced there on a Puccetti bike last year with the ELF colours that my dad, Ron, used to run. The pace was OK for a top five although we had some issues in the races. I am quite confident that the bike will work well at Imola and I can probably adapt a little bit faster, having ridden the circuit last year.

“It is a circuit of mixed memories for me. I lost the championship chance in 2010 to Max Biaggi there but I also had some quite good battles with Carlos Checa. I have some up and down memories but I will have to wait and see where the other competition is at. But from my side I am really looking forward to it.”



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