Stiggy Racing Honda‘s lone rider Leon Haslam secured a great fifth place in Superpole today, ahead of the final round of the World Superbike Championship in Portimao.
Haslam started the weekend strong but faced technical problems in the closing stages of Friday qualifying, finishing down in 10th place. The young Brit put those problems behind him today though as he worked his way though the three Superpole sessions, posting 1:43.523, good enough for a second row start tomorrow.
“I am pretty happy and we made some good progress through the weekend.” said Haslam, “We are lacking a little bit in the high RPM, so we are losing 0.1 or 0.2 seconds per lap, but we have only been 0.1 or 0.2 off the quickest all weekend.
“In that last Superpole we were frustrated because we ended up going back to the old qualifying tyre. It had dropped off a bit but it was still better than the new one. But I'm still quite happy to be fifth and on the second row.”
Team manager Johan Stigefelt was happy with Haslam’s performance today, “I am really happy and it is fantastic to come to the end of the season and make it into the final Superpole, and Leon finished fifth, which is great.”
He went on to explain some tyre problems they faced during qualifying, “We were hoping for a front row but the second qualifying tyre he used in the last section was not good enough so he did his best time on a used qualifier. We are looking forward to tomorrow as Leon is very strong, one of the most consistent riders, and I'm sure he can challenge for the podium.”
Photo credit: Stiggy Honda