LEON HASLAM finished in seventh place in the opening race of round 12 of the World Superbike Championship at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany before a second race, high-speed crash ended his round in spectacular fashion.
The luckless Derbyshire man was riding injured after being taken out of the second race in Russia two weeks ago then further injuring a shoulder in a final qualifying crash on Saturday in Germany.
He ignored the pain as he battled to seventh place in the 20-lap opening race and was heading for a podium finish in race two when he crashed out of fourth place on the 10th lap of the final race of the day.
“Race one was really bad,” admitted Haslam. “I felt I had the pace to run with Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies. Early on I was struggling a little bit with the feel at the front and I found it quite hard to pass the other guys.
“But then midway through the race I was really struggling to change direction and in the last six or seven laps I had zero physical power. My lap times went up to high 1m 59s and 2m 0s in the end while yesterday I did a race simulation all in the 1m 56s bracket.”
Haslam continued: “In race two I felt pretty comfortable. I was in a battle with Eugene Laverty and Leon Camier who finished second and third. I made a mistake a few laps before the crash which dropped me back behind the Ducatis but I managed to get back ahead of those guys and to catch up to Camier but then I just lost the front.
“I never really had any slides before that – it just started on that lap and it put me down pretty fast. It was strange. In race one a lot of people crashed that way. In race two it was just myself and Marco Melandri.
“Normally the crashes are under braking but this time I was off the brakes. I don’t have any other major damage, just a lot of bruises. I landed on the same shoulder again and damaged my elbow and a finger a little bit but nothing too major.
“I am happy about a two-week break now. Today I was in a battle for second or third place – coming from 12th on the grid and with my injuries – so I can’t be unhappy but I am just disappointed about the crash.”