Barcelona 500 cc Grand Prix
Leon Haslam Withdraws From Catalunya Gp
Barcelona, Friday,15 June 2001:
Shell Advance Honda rider Leon Haslam will not race in Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix.
Haslam completed just 11 laps in practice this morning before succumbing to the pain from the left wrist he fractured at Le Mans four weeks ago.
The decision for Haslam's withdrawal was taken by Shell Advance Honda team management despite a medical report that indicated the British teenager was fit to ride.
In the process of running in a new motor, Haslam quickly agreed that another two weeks rest and returning to race at the Dutch TT at Assen was the best course of action.
"Leon is young with a big future in the sport and I was not prepared for him to take any risks at this stage of his career," said Shell team boss Jeff Hardwick.
"The team took the decision even before practice this morning that he would not race because we want him to be fit for Assen and especially the British GP at Donington. The doctors had indicated he was OK to ride but even running in the new motor he was feeling uncomfortable."
While disappointed that he cannot race on Sunday Haslam agreed he was not ready for a competitive return to competition.
"It was OK braking for the right-handers but for the left-handers and leaning into the corners it was quite painful, it feels like the ligaments are pulling in my wrist," Haslam said.
"It's a pity because I like this track but after riding this morning I understand racing on Sunday is not possible. Now I just want to be fit for Assen and Donington and get some good results at those races."
Haslam, 18, who is the youngest rider ever to score points in the 500cc world championship, will continue physiotherapy treatment on his wrist in advance of the Dutch TT.