Spills and thrills in action-packed Moscow races for Leon Haslam

LEON HASLAM took a sixth place finish, recorded the fastest lap of the opening race and crashed twice in an eventful 11th round of the World Superbike Championship at the Moscow Raceway in Russia on Sunday.

Haslam qualified on the front row of the grid for the second successive round and was battling for a podium finish in the opening 25-lap race before crashing out then remounting to finish in sixth place.

In the second race the Derbyshire rider was hit by another rider on the 10th lap while again battling for a top three finish. Haslam escaped serious injury and failed to finish a race for the first time since round four at Monza, Italy.

In the first race I felt pretty comfortable after making the start that I wanted,” reported Haslam. “Conditions were quite tricky after the overnight rain so I didn’t want to push too much.

“Early in the race I made a mistake, ran off the track and dropped back a few places. I rejoined and managed to work my way back up into the top three. I got stuck behind Chaz Davies who was a bit quicker on the straight so I had to make my move in the twisty section.

“He kept running quite wide in one of the turns and I made my move, but he closed the door, we collided and I went down. It was frustrating because I felt pretty comfortable and was taking it quite easy in that position.”

He continued: “In race two I also felt pretty good. I had the same pace as Melandri and Laverty who I was racing with. I was losing out at one corner that leads on to the long straight, so I found it quite difficult to pass.

“When Melandri came through I felt as though Laverty was holding me up a little bit but then, going into the left-hander at the end of the back straight, Biaggi must have made a mistake, he hit me and that was it – race over.

“It was just bad luck. It’s kind of the story so far this season. I had a little bang to my head and have a sore leg but nothing that will stop me from racing in Germany, I’ll be fit and strong by then.”