Leon Haslam got back to podium ways at Misano’s WorldSBK round after not having a top three since Phillip Island and the relief was palpable but it was still a tough weekend.
Even though the reigning BSB champ stood on the box twice, he is still suffering from the same corner-entry problems that have made life difficult all season but they are now at least decreasing after some big steps in testing.
“Crashing out of third in the rain was frustrating “I got stuck behind the Ducatis for too long and then I had a big gap to Tom which I tried to push to catch and I crashed. It was my mistake,” told bikesportnews.com.
“I dislocated my thumb yesterday when I crashed, but it is all right, I had some injections and it was fine nothing broke just kind of a sprain.”
But it got better for Haslam with two Sunday third-place finishes in hot conditions.
“The third place in the sprint race today was just a matter of staying on and bridging the gap to Tom, and I managed to pass him on the last lap.
“In the last race on Sunday I was just struggling from lap one and did not have much front feeling, but I think everybody was in the same position.
“When Jonathan and Toprak came past I felt I could have pushed to go with them but I was already risking too much so I had to run my own race. Alex was then behind me and I did not want to give up the podium, so I fought a little bit at the end.”
Haslam is seeing progress with his team in terms of making his bike work the way he wants, but both rider and crewstill have a way to go it seems.
“We are still struggling with the same problems,” confirmed Haslam. “Even though we had two third places, and should have had a third one in the rain, we are still struggling in the same area.
“We have made some good steps from the Jerez test but I have a big highside and small front end crash this weekend, and it is not like me to crash. There are still little things we are finding out. Corner entry is the biggest problem. Same problem.
“We made a step in Jerez with the chassis and this weekend we made a step in the electronics – a new strategy. Those two things have helped me for sure, but it is also my style because I am still entering corners too fast.
“When it gets hot the grip is not there in the front and as it gets hotter my style is being penalised more than the others. I know what I need to do but it is just not my natural way. Me and Toprak had a fight in that sprint race that I won and then he beat me in the final race, and Johnny had a good weekend as well.”
Haslam had a clash with Melandri, which was not entirely a surprise to him, however unexpected it was at the time.
“I didn’t know it was Melandri because came from behind me,” said Haslam. “He hit me in turns one and two which made me run wide, and as I changed direction he hit me again. It is just Marco putting himself in those positions, which he always does. I expect that.”