Loss of ‘one second per lap’ in race two concludes tough Assen round for Haslam

Leon Haslam unable to continue the improved form of Donington Park at WorldSBK Assen, as ‘front of the bike and power delivery’ issues hinder the Brit’s potential.
Leon Haslam, Dutch WorldSBK race2, 25 July 2021
Leon Haslam, Dutch WorldSBK race2, 25 July 2021
© Gold and Goose

Following his best weekend of the 2021 WorldSBK campaign at Donington Park, recurring issues with the Honda Fireblade’ front end and power delivery at Assen cost Leon Haslam. 

Haslam’ best result at the ‘cathedral of speed’ came in race one where he finished eighth, however, rider incidents ahead of him and further problems with the CBR1000RR-R of which there have been plenty for the former BSB champion this year, meant a 12th and tenth in Sunday’s double header. 

While Haslam and Alvaro Bautista have shown potential at different stages this season, Team HRC have not had a weekend where both riders demonstrated the speed and performance required for top five finishes together - whether that be due to outright pace or mechanical/electronical issues.   

Haslam was faster than Bautista in qualifying and felt like a top five result was possible in the races, a position the Spaniard ultimately claimed in race two. 

Speaking after the weekend, Haslam added: "In the Superpole race, a rider caused me to lose many positions through the first turn. It was a difficult race and we struggled with both the front of the bike and power delivery too. 

"In the second race, I made a good start but then Toprak [Razgatlioglu] crashed and I had to avoid him, which meant I lost ground again. 

"I felt like I had good rhythm through the first part of the race anyway, but then from about lap ten I started to lose a lot of time, more than one second per lap. 

"Overall, it’s been a tough weekend and I’m left frustrated as I expected top five results at this circuit."

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