Haslam ready for Magny-Cours battle

SMALLEY racer Leon Haslam is chasing a repeat of last year’s runner-up place at the Magny Cours circuit this weekend as the French track hosts round 12 of the World Superbike Championship.

Haslam continues his chase for podium finishes and a first win on the BMW S1000RR in his debut season on the machine.

After being at the head of the action during practice and qualifying last weekend at Imola, the race results didn’t offer the same return for the Derbyshire man.

”But I think we proved at Imola that we have realised some consistency now” explained Haslam. “To be in the top five or six throughout practice and qualifying is important but obviously we have to now bridge a far larger gap to the front-running pace.”

Haslam is fifth in the Championship and the Magny Cours circuit is one Haslam believes will suit himself and the BMW.

He continued: “Magny Cours is a circuit that should be good for the RR. There’s lots of heavy downhill braking and corners that require you to switch down from sixth gear to fourth gear.

“The stability of the machine is crucial for this circuit and it’s as crucial to have the right set-up for the conditions. It’s always a little bit cold at Magny Cours, but it’s the same for everybody.”

The Magny Cours action gets under way on Friday lunchtime with free practice followed by an afternoon qualifying session then further qualifying and Superpole on Saturday before Sunday’s race action at the 2.739-mile (4.411km) circuit.

World Championship points after 11 of 13 rounds: 1 Checa 417, 2 Melandri 320, 3 Biaggi 281, 4 Laverty 256, 5 Haslam 187, 6 Camier 171, 7 Guintoli 158, 8 Haga 155, 9 Badovini 147, 10 Fabrizio 141.

Manufacturers points: 1 Ducati 441, 2 Aprilia 376, 3 Yamaha 375, 4 BMW 232, 5 Kawasaki 192, 6 Honda 162, 7 Suzuki 158.

2011 World Superbike Championship: 1. February 27 ‘ Phillip Island, Australia; 2. March 27 ‘ Donington Park, GB; 3. April 17 ‘ Assen, Holland; 4. May 8 ‘ Monza, Italy; 5. May 30 ‘ Salt Lake City, USA; 6. June 12 ‘ Misano, San Marino; 7. June 19 ‘ Aragon, Spain; 8. July 10 ‘ Brno, Czech Republic; 9. July 31 ‘ Silverstone, Great Britain; 10. September 4 ‘ Nurburgring, Germany; 11. September 25 ‘ Imola, Italy; 12. October 2 - Magny-Cours, France; 13. October 16 - Portimao, Portugal.