Haslam’s dis­as­ter

Race two crash hor­ror for Leon

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - OLI RUSHBY BSB REPORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

Leon Haslam’s week­end ended in dis­as­ter at Oul­ton Park when he was in­volved in a ter­ri­fy­ing high speed in­ci­dent in the clos­ing stages of Monday’s race.

The JG Speed­fit Kawasaki man was chasing down the race lead­ers when El­li­son’s R1 cut out on the 160mph straight be­tween Druids and Lodge.

Left with nowhere to go, Haslam crashed into the back of El­li­son’s slow­ing R1 and through luck alone man­aged to avoid both the armco bar­rier and the nu­mer­ous parts of his de­stroyed Kawasaki bounc­ing down the side of the track.

Es­cap­ing with a bruised back­side and a bash to the an­kle, Haslam was thank­ing his lucky stars de­spite hav­ing missed out on what he thought could have been his sec­ond dou­ble vic­tory of the year.

“I’m gut­ted, of course,” Haslam told MCN af­ter re­turn­ing from the med­i­cal cen­tre with the all-clear. “That be­ing said, I’ve got to fo­cus on the pos­i­tives as that could have been a lot, lot worse. It wasn’t in any way our fault, and with­out that I’m pretty con­fi­dent we could have caught Shakey in the fi­nal few laps so I can’t be too down about it.”

Re­call­ing the in­ci­dent, he said: “James’ en­gine cut out as soon as I clicked fourth gear. I man­aged to snap the front brake as I hit the back of his bike and just went straight over the han­dle­bars. I’m a bit winded and have a few scrapes here and there, but I’m OK which is how we have to look at it as it was a very se­ri­ous crash.”

Aside from the way in which his week­end ended, it was an­other strong per­for­mance by Haslam af­ter a startto-fin­ish vic­tory in the open­ing race as­serted his po­si­tion as the favourite to take this year’s ti­tle.

While ri­val Shane Byrne was back on the pace this week­end, he had no an­swer for Haslam in the open­ing race and was forced to set­tle for sec­ond. While the warmer con­di­tions played into Byrne’s hands in the sec­ond con­test, as it suits his pre­ferred softer op­tion rear tyre, Haslam had just set the quick­est lap of the race with six to go be­fore it all came to such a spec­tac­u­lar end.

The in­ci­dent sees Haslam’s cham­pi­onship lead over team-mate Luke Mossey cut to just three points, but he’s got a cru­cial 53 points and 11 podium cred­its over the man he still sees as his main threat for the ti­tle – Shane Byrne.

‘I’m gut­ted of course, but it could have been a lot, lot worse’ LEON HASLAM

1 El­li­son’s R1 cuts out at 160mph, Haslam is so close he has nowhere to go and slams into the back of the bike

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