SMALLEY rider Leon Haslam remains fifth in the World Superbike Championship after a crash and a fifth place in Sunday’s two races of round 11 round at the Imola circuit in Italy.
Haslam started both 21-lap races from sixth place on the grid and in the opening encounter was seventh into the first corner, eventually claiming sixth place by the end of the opening lap.
He then dropped to eighth place a lap later before climbing back through the field and was closing on fifth place when he crashed out on the ninth lap.
“I struggled in the early stages of the first race but then managed to find some rhythm but then I found a false neutral and it then jumped into gear then out again and I fell”,� Haslam explained.
In the second outing Haslam was in fifth or sixth position for all of the 21 laps, eventually crossing the line in fifth place to take his 17th top ten finish from the 22 races so far in 2011.
He continued: “For the second race we made some changes to the machine but the increase in air temperature changed the feeling of the machine and meant things didn’t work out to plan. I lost contact to the leading group and from that moment on just tried to maintain position.
“The races were a disappointment overall as we’d been competitive all weekend and felt we could at least challenge for a podium finish”.�
World Superbike Championship, round 11, Imola, Italy.
Race results; (both races 21 laps � 103.656km / 64.370 miles); Race one: 1 Jonathan Rea, GB (Honda) 38m 03.396s � 163.424kmh/101.486mph, 2 Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) +0.111s, 3 Carlos Checa, Spain (Ducati) +9.449s, 4 Tom Sykes, GB (Kawasaki) +9.792s, 5 Eugene Laverty, GB (Yamaha) +14.699s, 6 Sylvain Guintoli, France (Ducati) +16.820s, 7 Jakub Smrz, Czech Rep. (Ducati) +24.27s, 8 Marco Melandri, Italy (Yamaha) + 24.935s, 9 Ayrton Badovini, Italy (BMW) +25.224s, 10 Joan Lascorz, Spain (Kawasaki) +25.487s. DNF Leon Haslam, GB (BMW).
Race two: 1 Carlos Checa, Spain (Ducati) 38m 04.538s � 163.342kmh/101.435mph, 2 Noriyuki Haga, Japan (Aprilia) +4.631s, 3 Leon Camier, GB (Aprilia) +15.159s, 4 Eugene Laverty, GB (Yamaha) +17.195s, 5 Leon Haslam, GB (BMW) +17.388s, 6 Marco Melandri, Italy (Yamaha) +18.533s, 7 Sylvain Guintoli, France (Ducati) +19.615s, 8 Joan Lascorz, Spain (Kawasaki) +20.063s, 9 Mark Aitchison, Australia (Kawasaki) +24.194s, 10 Ayrton Badovini, Italy (BMW) +28.485s.
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.
Next round: Magny Cours, France � September 30-October 2 2011.