Snetterton BSB: Lack of grip and speed hamper Haslam

Picture: Impact Images

JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam was blighted by a lack of grip when using the harder SC1 rear Pirelli and was also down on speed, during the MCE British Superbike double header at Snetterton.

The Smalley rider finished the opening race in fourth and the second outing in eighth. Haslam is still recovering from a nasty injury sustained from a big high side at the last round of Knockhill, but not only that he had to contend with struggles when it came to the setup of the ZX-10RR.

When looking at the speed analysis Haslam was four mph down in some places compared to the other Kawasaki bike belonging to Jake Dixon, particularly on the first speed trap, and on the finishing line the other ZX-10RR’s of Westmoreland and Dixon went one mph faster.

Haslam also felt that he was ‘slipping around’ and usually he can win races and ride really well on the harder front and rear tyre compounds. But the track temperature was 37 degrees Celsius in race two and the heat did not work well with the SC1 rear on the Kawasaki.

Now the rider wants to spend more time working on the SC0, as at the moment he can’t get that tyre to last, and with the summer season well and truly here he doesn’t want to struggle in the up and coming rounds, especially if the track hots up once again.

“Race two was hard we were struggling with bike, setup, grip, many things and it made it a very, very hard race and dropping back and watching everyone pull away and me slipping around it was hard to take,” said Haslam, speaking to Bikesportnews.com.

“I didn’t expect to be back this soon from this injury and to come away with a fourth and an eighth and some points - disappointed that I didn’t make the podium in race one but I really felt I didn’t have anything else left in the tank. Will we take it and it is better than watching them race and we managed to have a go and manage to try a few things.

“We were down quite a lot on speed and we were eight or nine miles an hour down on the top guys. We missed the test here, we missed Friday through an issue and my injury - this track we never made a podium last year with this bike.

“It is a combination of things. If we were fighting fit with the test, it would still have been a tough weekend. It is a knock on effect and there are not many tracks that don’t suit our style and setup and we have to battle through the hard ones and make it count on the good ones.

“The front is my preferred tyre in all conditions but the rear in them track temperatures we just didn’t have any grip, and race two was even worse than race one. But we can’t get the zero to last. We need to work more on the zero and we have got away with it so far this year with the track temperatures, we have still be winning on the SC1 versus the zero but when the track gets that hot you cant give away 0.6 of a lap.”

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