Haslam plays second fiddle to Rea in Thailand battles

Leon Haslam raced well in Thailand at the weekend but was unable to overhaul compatriot Jonathan Rea.

Leon Haslam raced well in Thailand at the weekend but was unable to overhaul compatriot Jonathan Rea.

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Smalley star Leon Haslam took two second place finishes as World Superbike Championship races took place in Thailand for the first time.

The series went to the Chang Circuit in Buriram where Haslam added to his first and second places securedin the opening round of the new season in Australia last month to cement his second position in the overall standings behind compatriot Jonathan Rea.

Qualifying second, Aprilia rider Haslam was unable to overhaul Rea in each encounter, dropping to fourth at one point in race one and third in race two before climbing back into second in both cases where he remained.

Haslam said: “I was a bit too cautious on the first lap of race one and dropped to fourth. By the time I got into second place Johnny (Rea) had pulled a couple of seconds on me.

“I closed on him a little but we’d opted for a different front tyre and it turned out to be a wrong decision and held me back towards the end of the race.

“Johnny got away again at the start of race two but I’m not unhappy with two second places today.

“We had a problem in race one that we’d not experienced all weekend, the team solved the problem and, overall we’ll take the podium finishes.

“To have three second places and a win from the first four races of the year is good, I’m happy with that.”

The next round sees the series head to Europe and a trip to Aragon in Spain on April 10-12, before races in Holland, Italy, Haslam’s ‘home’ circuit of Donington Park complete the first half of the season.