Race two crash horror for Leon
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