Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 22 Feb 2015
Leon Haslam clinched victory from Jonathan Rea in today’s second World Superbike race to take his first race win since 2010.
The Derbyshire rider has endured a tough few years since finishing second to Max Biaggi in the 2010 World Championship with Suzuki. In the last five years, he’s only finished on the podium six times but a move to Aprilia for 2015 has seemed to rejuvenate the Brit who leaves Phillip Island joint-championship leader with Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea.
A number of mistakes saw Haslam unable to challenge for victory in race one but he crossed the line in a comfortable second place. Fighting hard in race two, the 31-year-old took the lead into the final lap and despite Rea getting the better of him at Lukey Heights, the Aprilia’s drive down the straight awarded victory to Haslam by just 0.01 seconds.
“This race brings back great memories,” said Haslam after the race. “My last win was at Kyalami in 2010 after a great battle with Rea. My compliments to my team. They did a great job all weekend.
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“In Race 1 I unfortunately made a mistake, but luckily I felt like I had a wide enough margin and I was able to rejoin the pack and finish second in the final dash by just a few thousandths.
“I started Race 2 even more motivated to win. Despite feeling like I had less reserve after the halfway point, everything went according to plan. In the last turn I opened up the throttle at the right time and I realised that I had overtaken Rea straight away right on the finish line. I am truly happy to finally be back on the top step of the podium!"
World Superbikes resumes in just under a month’s time at the Buriram International Circuit in Thailand.