Haslam defies injury to stay second in standings

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Smalley’s Leon Haslam remains second overall in the World Superbike Championship standings after two fourth place finishes at Donington Park last weekend.

Much-feared rain thankfully didn’t arrive at the East Midlands track but that didn’t affect the levels of excitement as Haslam returned to his ‘home’ circuit, although following a chest injury sustained at Imola a fortnight ago he had to pass a fitness test in order to compete.

On his Aprilia RSV4 Haslam got off the line well from the second row in both starts, demonstrating grit and determination despite the pain from his injury.

Joining the pack of British riders who monopolised the top spots, Haslam kept a good pace until about the mid-race point when he was forced to give in to fatigue.

Despite the difficulties, the tough Derbyshire rider valiantly defended two fourth place finishes which earned important points for him and gave the Aprilia Racing – Red Devils team yet another useful result. Yorkshireman Jonathan Sykes won both races.

Haslam holds onto second place in the overall rider standings and fully intends to be a key player in the coming races which are more favourable to the characteristics of his RSV4 RF.

He said: “I’m fairly pleased with the results today considering my conditions.

“Obviously I would have liked to have been on the podium for my fans, but I think that in the end two fourth places are the most we could have aimed for.

“I started well in both races and then I started feeling the fatigue. In spite of it all, even here we showed that we are in the game.

“I’m looking forward to some tracks that are more favourable for us so I can perform at my best.

Haslam will now look to recuperate in time for round seven in Portugal in two weeks’ time.

He added: “Now we’ll start thinking about Portimão, a track which should cater well to my RSV4.”