Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam once again battled against injury to put his bike into Superpole but he was unable to progress beyond Superpole one and will start tomorrow’s World Superbike races from the fifth row of the grid. The rider is still recovering from a broken leg, and only two weeks ago at Donington Park was advised by his team to withdraw from both main races.
Haslam is determined to progress in Portimao tomorrow, but his injury is still holding him back, as he can not perform simple movements as well as he used to. He is now able to bend his knee, but is still suffering significant pain in his ligaments. But the Brit does feel that he is continuing to improve.
“I felt we made some good steps with the bike today and, honestly, it’s working really well. But I’m still struggling in certain areas. I’ve got the knee bend now, but it’s pain from the ligaments and the lack of strength that is making me suffer. I still can’t push through the left peg like I want to, but the boys have moved the bike on through the weekend so far, which is positive,” said Haslam.
“Obviously, I’m not doing too many laps in one go so it’s hard to make much progress but it’s definitely better. I used a qualifier in Superpole one but probably had to be more aggressive and physical with that tyre, getting it to turn and do the things I need it to do, because of the extra grip.
“I should have been a second faster but struggled to get more than a couple of tenths, which wasn’t good enough. I’ve accepted the fact that we’re not on the pace again here and the races are going to be difficult but the developments we’re making on the bike are only going to help when I’m back fit.”