Shell Advance Honda rider Leon Haslam made a disappointingly brief appearance in his first ride aboard a factory Honda NSR500 V4 in today's German GP. Haslam's race came to a crashing end in a first lap scramble for track position with the...
Shell Advance Honda rider Leon Haslam made a disappointingly brief appearance in his first ride aboard a factory Honda NSR500 V4 in today's German GP.
Haslam's race came to a crashing end in a first lap scramble for track position with the British teenager suffering a dislocated left shoulder and ligament damage.
And while 18 year old Australian Brendan Clarke failed to finish the GP, the debutant made an impressive start to his international career aboard the v-twin Shell Honda. For 18 laps Clarke ran in close company with fellow Queenslander Anthony West in a stirring battle of the twins matching the race pace of his much more experienced rival until he crashed on lap 19.
Shell Advance Honda team boss Jeff Hardwick has invited Clarke to join the team for the remainder of the season from the next race, the Czech GP at Brno. After being treated at the Clinica Mobile Haslam was told to rest his heavily strapped left arm and shoulder for 12 days so that he can be fit for the Czech GP in five weeks.
Max Biaggi (Yamaha) led the race from start to finish to score his third GP victory of the season.
LEON HASLAM DNF/Crash World Championship 20th/6 points
"It was a typical first lap and I was trying to make some passing moves when I dived under Jay Vincent into a left hinder and everyone bunched up on the brakes and then I came upon Aoki going really slow, almost parked in the corner. I had no where to go and ran into the back of him. When we both got up from the gravel Aoki apologised and said he thought something went wrong with his bike. I'm really disappointed as I was keen to get some race laps in on a V4. I have to rest my shoulder for 12 days but then I'll be back training getting for the next GP in Brno."
BRENDAN CLARKE DNF/Crash
"For a lot of the race I was comfortable sitting behind Westy and on the downhill run through the two left handers I was catching him. Then I ran a little wide, I went in a bit too quick and was trailing the front brake, and lost the front and crashed. It was disappointing because I was enjoying myself and I didn't get as tired as I thought I would in my first GP. I'm rapt in the whole weekend, it's been awesome to get on a bike that is much more powerful than anything else I've ridden and even better now that I know I'll be back to do the rest of GPs this season for the Shell Advance team. It's a great opportunity."
JEFF HARDWICK, Team Owner
"It was pity that Leon never got a chance to show what he was capable of on the V4 in the race, it was just one of those first lap incidents that happen in racing. In the morning warm-up Leon's top speed on the Honda was 262.8 kph which was just marginally slower than the similar factory NSR V4 ridden by Alex Barros at 263.9 kph. I was very impressed with Brendan who came to Europe at the last minute and he will now ride the v-twin Shell Honda for the remaining races this season."