Haslam back to his best after hard-fought results at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round
Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made an emphatic return to the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, being a front-running rider throughout the weekend whilst also battling relentlessly with his teammate, Jonathan Rea. Haslam crashed out of the opening race of the weekend on Saturday after but made it to the top three in the Tissot Superpole Race whilst putting on a courageous display of hair-raising manoeuvres in Race 2.
Having been out of the WorldSBK paddock as a full-time rider since the end of 2015, nobody could’ve expected the ‘Pocket Rocket’ to be quite so quick so early on in his return. The 35-year-old British rider stated his joy of returning to the WorldSBK podium, saying: “I can’t grumble; I was so disappointed with yesterday, we’d been doing everything to a nice schedule, improving and learning and I felt like we’d done our homework ahead of Race 1. To achieve two third-places and have a great battle with Jonny, I couldn’t really ask for much more!”
The reigning British champion, who has won five WorldSBK races, also spoke about his fierce head-to-head battle with reigning World Superbike Champion, Jonathan Rea. The pair exchanged positions over ten times throughout the race and put on a thrilling show Down Under!
Speaking about the next round – the Pirelli Thai Round – Haslam stated how his good memories from 2015 will be a good base for development of the Kawasaki ZX10-RR: “Last time I was in Thailand, I finished second to Jonny; I’ve only been there the once, but I have good memories from when I was there. We will keep progressing with Kawasaki and the team and just keep learning.”
Leon Haslam racked up his 40th podium in Race 2 at Phillip Island, of which seven have been at the legendary Australian venue. His seven podiums at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit have been with five different manufacturers – a record at the circuit. Haslam’s versatility and prowess at the circuit and indeed in WorldSBK make him a certain Championship challenger in 2019.
Follow the KRT riders’ progress in his comeback season with the WorldSBK VideoPass!