Leon Haslam admits he had to make the best of a bad situation to come out of this weekend with two podium finishes and keep his lead of over 30 points.
Battling back from 24th place and tyre woes on top of that, the JG Speedfit rider now heads to Assen with 31 points to spare ahead of closest rival Jake Dixon
Haslam hit disaster yesterday when his Kawasaki lost a cylinder before setting any lap times in qualifying, meaning he started on the very last row of the grid for today’s first race.
And despite severely wet conditions, he scythed through the pack, making up 11 places on the first lap alone, to bag 16 points with a third place finish behind Tommy Bridewell and winner Dixon.
Haslam believes he also had the pace to win race two after conditions finally dried up, but he hung around in third place for too long and waited too late to start hunting down Dixon, leaving it to a late charge in which he says he made a few mistakes.
“I just took too long to get into second,” he said. “Jake had such a strong pace from the get-go. I really didn’t know if I’d catch him or not but then we all came into a bit of tyre issues.
“But the closer I got, the harder I was trying, the more mistakes I was making so I just ran out of laps. Fair play to Jake with the double win, I’m really happy from the back row of the grid to third and then this second place.
As the series heads to Assen in two weeks’ time, the title favourite says he’s putting the difficulties of yesterday’s qualifying misery behind him and keeping his eyes on the top prize.
“It was really frustrating with what happened yesterday, but I feel we maximised what we could have had today. I think I had the pace to win, but the circumstances being what they were we’ll take a second and a third.
“Assen is an awesome circuit and it always makes for good racing and good battling, so I can’t wait for it.”