JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam finished the final MCE British Superbike race at Thruxton with a third place finish.
Fresh from his Suzuka achievements the ZX-10RR rider found his success a little unexpected and was surprised to finish inside the top three. Last year at the Hampshire round Haslam’s best finish was fifth, but today he found gains with the harder option Pirelli tyres.
The race was shortened to 18 laps and Haslam was a tad cautious with how the tyres would fare with the new distance. The opening race proved much tougher for Haslam and at first found it ‘hard’ on the SC2 front and SC1 rear compounds.
He did not have the best of starts in race one and was down to 12th at one point, but he pulled himself up the order to cross the finishing line in seventh. Haslam is second in the championship standings, and is only 19 points adrift of leader, Be Wiser Ducati’s Shane Byrne.
“Honestly I did not expect to be near the podium. Shortened race - racing them on the harder tyre in race one. We made some good steps in race two and that is the fastest I have gone. I was really happy and I was in a good battle with Jason and Christian,” said Haslam at the track.
“Fair play to Pete he deserved that. It is shaping up to be good and I am happy that I have got this round out of the way and a big thanks to JG Speedfit and all the boys.”
After race one Haslam explained: “It got shortened to 18 and we had seven laps on the pace car so it ended up being a ten lap sprint and I was sat there on the hard tyre.
“It was hard, I managed to put a half decent lap on the tyre but I really felt the drive I was missing even compared to Bradley Ray and a few of the other guys and I feel I was just losing that push off those turns.
“I had a terrible start, I was down in 12th in race one. The couple of places I am losing a lot is the exit on the back straight and a little bit of drive there and the marshal posts at the top end of the circuit. So if I can get on the back of them and ride smooth the hard tyre should pay off. I was happy with the time that I did on that tyre, but theirs was faster. We need to reassess and do a few tweaks here and there.”