Trio of top ten finishes for Haslam at Oulton Park

Leon Haslam in action at Oulton Park. Photo: Bonnie Lane.Leon Haslam in action at Oulton Park. Photo: Bonnie Lane.
Leon Haslam in action at Oulton Park. Photo: Bonnie Lane.
Smalley’s Leon Haslam and his ROKiT Haslam Racing Team made positive steps forward at the second round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship as he powered to three top tens and best result of fifth at Oulton Park.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ fought his way through a few recurring issues with the squad’s BMW M 1000 RR, bettering his results in each of the weekend’s three races to cross the line fifth in Bank Holiday Monday’s final battle.

After finishing Sunday’s race in tenth place, Haslam lined up in p10 for Monday afternoon’s 12-lap Sprint race.

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Getting a fast and clean start, he was eighth into Turn One and moved up to sixth moments later. But he soon found himself in a battle with other riders and eventually dropped back to eighth, holding the position to the chequered flag.

For the final race of the weekend, Haslam started from the third row in eighth position and once again flew off the line and passed four riders around the outside at Turn One to move into fourth.

However, as he fought with the same technical issues which have troubled him since Round One, he dropped back to fifth on lap four and then lost another spot to Tommy Bridewell on lap eight.

But determined to fight back, he pushed hard and kept close behind his rival, reeling him back in and eventually making a move on the penultimate lap to take back fifth place, holding it to the chequered flag.

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Haslam said: “We’ve finished on a bit more of a positive, we’re still having the same issue as Navarra but all in all we’ve got to take the positives. We are battling through the problems and I managed to actually pass Tommy on the penultimate lap to get a fifth so our pace is similar to the leaders, we’re just finding it quite difficult to be there consistently at the minute.

“It’s been a bit of a frustrating weekend, I felt that the results for me could’ve been better with the pace I had, but I think we got the best out of the situation that we were in.

“It’s Donington Park, my home race next, so we’ve got a few weeks now just to regroup and make a bit of a new plan to try and get a bit of consistency.”

In Monday’s Quattro Group British Supersport race, ROKiT Haslam Racing’s Eugene McManus celebrated a much-deserved podium as he crossed the line third.

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Following a fifth place in Sunday’s Sprint, McManus got a good start from sixth on the grid and within a handful of laps had pushed his way up to third.

He quickly edged a gap between himself and the rider behind, to take a comfortable third and enjoy his first visit to the podium of the season.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t such a successful race for brother and team-mate James, who retired from the race on Lap 13.

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