LEON TAKES SUPERB PODIUM IN RACE TWO AND EXTENDS HIS SERIES LEAD.
Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam bounced back from a disappointing eleventh place in race one to take a superb runner-up spot in race two in Assen today. His main rivals, Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) were unable to fully capitalise on Leon's eleventh in the first race and Biaggi now trails Leon by twenty points in the standings.
Leon's lowly eleventh in the first race was a result of a loss of air pressure in his front tyre and that meant he couldn't push hard at all. At first he thought it was a brake problem, but he kept going somehow and collected five valuable points. Jonathan Rea (Honda) won the race, with fellow Britons James Toseland (Yamaha) second and Leon Camier (Aprilia) third.
Race two was an absolute scorcher - one of the best in World Superbike history. Rea won it, but only after the 'mother of battles' with Leon, Troy Corser and Toseland, which saw plenty of close contact involving elbows and handlebars.
While Leon was able to celebrate extending his lead in the series, it was not such a good day for team mate Sylvain Guintoli. The Frenchman hardly recovered from his position in qualifying and never found his rhythm in either of today's 22-lap races, finishing in 14th in race one and 13th in race two.
Leon - Race 1: 11th, Race 2: 2nd
Today was very, very hard, but I am happy because I have extended my lead in the series. In race one I had a problem with the front end and was struggling in 16th after five laps. I wasn't sure if it was a brake problem, but when the bike was checked over after the race, the team discovered that air had escaped from the front tyre. It was a real struggle to keep going especially when I was with a couple of other riders, but I was determined to bring the bike home one way or another. The team changed the front discs and pads (in case they were part of the problem) for race two and I was able to do a normal race. It was a fantastic race, with plenty of close contact. Elbows were everywhere and we were close enough to touch each other's handelbars. It was very hard, but fair, and we all enjoyed it a lot. It must have been great for the fans and of course, having both podiums filled by Brits was also great.
Sylvain - Race 1: 14th, Race 2: 13th
This was a weekend to forget and I don't really even want to think about it anymore. It didn't start well and never really improved. It did get a bit better yesterday and I might have been able to rescue something if I had managed to find my rhythm today. But I didn't, and having a problem with another rider in race two didn't help either. I'm not sure if it was Sykes or Lanzi but there was an impact and that affected the steering of my bike. I was lucky not to crash, but I thought I might as well keep going and see what happened. The steering felt strange and I just could push any harder. I think it's better I forget today and start thinking about the next race in Monza, because that is something positive.
-source: suzuki alstare