‘The fastest highside I’ve ever had’
It was a dramatic start to the fourth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Knockhill with three riders hurt in big crashes in Friday’s opening practice session.
One of those riders was series leader Leon Haslam, who was knocked out in an enormous highside on the exit at turn six in the early stages of the session.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki man came around in the ambulance and was taken to hospital where it was confirmed he’d suffered two cracked vertebrae in the incident forcing him to miss the remainder of the weekend.
“I think it’s one of the fastest highsides I’ve ever had,” he told MCN when returning to the circuit from hospital. “It spun me like a top and I landed backwards on my head.
“It was a weird one, I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard and it caught me out. It’s frustrating, mainly because this is such a Kawasaki track and I feel I could have taken a couple of wins here.”
However, missing a weekend isn’t the end of the world for Haslam with BSB’S Showdown system leaving the title fight until the final three rounds. Even more reassuring for the 33-year- old is that main rival Shane Byrne has already missed a round so far this year after he was knocked out in a Donington Park crash.
“With the Showdown, it’s all about podium credits, nothing else. Yeah, we missed out on a few of those this weekend but no more than Shakey missed at Donington.”
While two cracked vertebrae might see you or I laid up for weeks, Haslam is determined to return to action at Snetterton in just two weeks’ time.
“I’ve been told the break is stable, so I’m heading down to Nottingham to see my consultant and sort a rehab programme to be fighting fit for Snetterton. It’s been a few difficult rounds with what happened with James at Oulton, but the pace is there and the bike is good. It’s a long season.”