MotorcyclesWorld Superbike

Painful End To Positive Day For Haslam

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Leon Haslam claimed his third podium finish of the season on Sunday but the day ended with a trip to the Monza medical centre.

The Derbyshire rider had an entertaining battle with Max Biaggi with the Italian taking second behind first-time winner Eugene Laverty. Haslam felt the battle with the World Champion ruined any chance he had of victory but nevertheless was happy with the result.

“In race one I didn't get the best of starts and I also made a few mistakes in the early laps which meant I had some work to do to catch the leading bunch. Still, I felt like I had the pace to run with the leaders. Max and I held each other up slightly which saw Eugene get away at the front but on the whole I was happy with the race and the bike.”

Race two was over before it began for the BMW Motorrad rider after crashing out at the first chicane. A precautionary check-up showed the extent of the injury.

“In race two, I was hit from behind at the first corner on lap one”, he explained. “I am not 100% sure what happened but I crashed out of the race after getting a much better start. Following the crash I was taken to the medical centre where it was confirmed that I have broken a toe on my right foot, but I don't see it being a problem for our forthcoming test, or the races in Salt Lake.”

Teammate Troy Corser led both races after a pair of lightning starts from the front row. The Australian had his best weekend of the season so far, finishing seventh and fifth in the day's two races.

Despite his improved performance, Corser was disappointed after missing out on a podium finish, after proving the strong pace of the S1000 RR throughout the weekend.

“On one hand I am happy with the way the two races have gone today but on the other hand I am slightly frustrated. I got a great start in both races and led the early laps. The bike felt good on the whole, we had a few tyre issues in race one which saw me slip back, and in race two I was pretty happy until I was squeezed out at the first corner by Marco Melandri.”

“From there I lost some time and I just couldn't get that back. The pace we showed this weekend suggested that we could push for the podium, but sadly that didn't happen with me today. We have a test now before Salt Lake so hopefully we can continue to improve on what we have done already.”

Berhard Gobmeier, Motorsport Director of BMW Motorrad was also encouraged by the pace the team showed at Monza, and is hoping the team can close the gap still further between now and the next round in the United States.

“On the whole we are happy with today. We are glad that we could achieve our second podium of the season. Obviously we were expecting a little bit more, but unfortunately Leon's second race was finished early. With Troy we had some issues with the tyres as they seemed to wear quite quickly but still we are happy.”

“It was clear in both races that we were able to do similar lap times and be as strong as the Yamahas. This means we have the speed. We just need to be a bit more consistent and fine-tune some of our race strategies. Now we are looking forward to the next races in the USA. I also want to congratulate Team BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike for their sixth position with Ayrton Badovini. This is a strong performance.”

The World Superbike Championship now takes a three week break before travelling to the United States for the next round at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City.

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