Donington WorldSBK: Haslam frustration continues despite podiums - Bikesport News

Donington WorldSBK: Haslam frustration continues despite podiums

Picture: GeeBee Images

Leon Haslam left his home WorldSBK round at Donington with the second biggest points haul behind Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea, taking two podiums and a fifth.

It was still a frustrating few days for Haslam, as he continues to have corner-entry issues even at a track he has lapped more times than almost anyone.

“Besides Jonathan’s three wins, I have scored the most points out of anybody this weekend but I am still struggling in that same area,” he told bikesportnews.com, after a tough ride to fifth, losing one final place to Alex Lowes.

“From the start/finish, all the way to the last two turns, I am faster than anybody but I am losing 0.4 or 0.5 seconds in just that last area. Every lap I was making that gap up again and then dropping, making it back up and dropping.

I felt like a bit of a yo-yo. Then obviously to keep being faster than them in the other corners, just to make up what I was losing in the last two turns, it was inevitable that I was not going to keep that rhythm. More so than anything when it is a last lap battle.

“The last two corners are where you need to be strong and where you make your moves. For that to be my weak point, it was inevitable that I was not going to keep that rhythm. That has kind of been the deciding factor I my results this weekend.”

Haslam has been improving as the season clicks into the second half more quickly than anybody thinks, and it is not lost on the Derby man that this was a better than average weekend for him in 2019.

“We need to look at the positives because besides Jonathan we have kind of scored more points than everyone else, closed the gap on third place, had a couple of podiums - but there is one main area I am a little frustrated about.”

He explained his issue as it had such a profound effect on him at this race.

“It is just how my bike is reacting and it is quite clear to see in TV, how I am braking how we are setting it up, a combination of everything,” he explained.

Toprak is very aggressive on the brakes and in my opinion he is doing the last two turns better than me and Jonathan. But then we are better than him on he rest of the track.

“We felt really, really good down Craner, the Old Hairpin, Schwantz - we felt really good, to the point where we could bridge that gap back again.”

Haslam got his sprint race second partly because Sykes fell on the spilt oil from Hickman’s other BMW at the Melbourne Loop, and could not get going again to be recorded as a finisher. That lifted Haslam to third. He said of the incident itself, “It was a real bad situation and many riders were caught out and obviously the red flag came out. It is never a nice situation when you have oil like this. Everyone hit the oil, some saved, some crashed, some ran wide.”

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