Haslam returns to the podium in Italy

Leon Haslam took his fifth podium finish of the year with third place in Sunday’s second race of round seven of the World Superbike Championship at Misano in Italy.

Haslam suffered a lack of rear grip in the opening race and dropped from second place to an eventual 12th, taking four World Championship points.

In the second race, again starting from sixth place on row two of the grid, Haslam powered his S1000RR into the battle for the lead, eventually being forced to take third place to add to his podium finishes of the year, at the other two Italian rounds Imola and Monza and at Donington Park.

Haslam was the first of a quartet of BMW’s as the other three S1000RR riders in the race finished fourth, fifth and sixth.

“It was another weekend where we challenged for the podium so I have to be reasonably pleased with that,” said Haslam.

“In race one we were unlucky with the rear tyre and there was obviously nothing more I could do but try and finish in the points.

“I was fighting for a podium position but then dropped three to four seconds a lap so was really frustrated because, after a strong start to the race, a podium finish looked on but we got it in the second one.

“Between the races the team worked very hard. We changed the set-up and made a different tyre choice. The tyre was definitely a lot better and I had a good battle with Johnny Rea.”

Haslam concluded: “I thought I had the pace to overtake Johnny but he was just that bit quicker than me in a couple of corners which made overtaking very difficult and I had to settle for third.

“But I am happy to be back on the podium and a big thanks to everyone at BMW.”

World Championship points after seven of 14 rounds: 1 Biaggi 210.5, 2 Rea 172, 3 Sykes 164.5, 4 Melandri 155.5, 5 Checa 150.5, 6 Haslam 123, 7 Guintoli 103, 8 Laverty 95, 9 Giugliano 80, 10 Smrz 75.5.

Manufacturers points: 1 Ducati 222.5, 2 Aprilia 221, 3 BMW 197, 4 Honda 176, 5 Kawasaki 170.5, 6 Suzuki 56.5.

Round eight of the competition is being held in San Marino on July 1.

The remaining rounds are:

8 San Marino, July 1; 9 Aragon, Spain, July 22; 10 Brno, Czech Republic, August 5; 11 Silverstone, August 26; 12 Moscow, Russia, September 9; 13 Nurburgring, Germany, September 9; 13 Portimao, Portugal, September 23; 14 Magny-Cours, France, October 7.