Haslam Closes Campaign with Last Gasp Win

Leon Haslam denied Chaz Davies at the very last corner to claim victory in the final race of the 2015 World Superbike Championship. The 32 year old gave Aprilia their first double since the final round of last season while second place was enough for Davies to clinch the runner-up spot in the final championship standings.

The British streak of victories was finally broken in race one with Jordi Torres taking the honours and fortunes didn’t improve early on with Alex Lowes unable to take the start due to engine problems. The next Briton to encounter reliability issues, incredibly, was Jonathan Rea who was forced to pull out after five laps, destroying any hopes he had of breaking the all-time points record for a single season.

A leading group of five was established with Davies and Haslam leading Tom Sykes, Torres and Michael van der Mark but as the race entered its closing stages, the pace proved too hot for the PATA Honda rider who fell seven seconds behind. That didn’t leave him rooted in fifth though with Torres crashing out on the penultimate lap, promoting him to P4.

Although Davies spent plenty of time at the front of the pack, Haslam would regularly lead across the finish line due to the phenomenal power of the Aprilia and that appeared to be in Chaz’s mind during the final lap. Mindful that a strong run though the last corner was essential, the Welshman overshot the apex and left the door wide open for Leon, making the relative horsepower of the two machines academic.

Sykes had to settle for third, both in the race and in the championship, while van der Mark beat outgoing teammate Sylvain Guintoli for fourth. Leandro Mercado was a superb sixth, lifting him to eighth in the championship, with Randy de Puniet matching his season’s best result in seventh. Niccolo Canepa was eighth while David Salom and Ayrton Badovini rounded out the top ten.