Today’s race marked Haslam’s 300th start in the Superbike class; he is only the fifth rider in history to achieve this milestone.
After a strong qualifying (sixth), the Brit concluded Race 1 in tenth place. A tough Superpole session meant a fifth row start for Alvaro Bautista, but a strong comeback saw him crossing the finish line a solid sixth.
Round eight of the Superbike World Championship continues as Team HRC completes the first of the weekend’s races at the French track of Nevers Magny-Cours. Earlier in the day, conditions remained dry for the all-important Superpole. With just 15 minutes in which to set the fastest possible lap time and obtain a good grid position, Bautista and Haslam didn’t waste any time. A best of 1’36.258 for the Brit saw him qualify a strong sixth, meaning a second-row start for him in the first of the weekend’s races. Bautista had a tougher time, struggling to complete a clean lap. A fastest time of 1’37.269 put him in fourteenth place at the session’s end, so a fifth-row start for the Spaniard.
At 2pm local time, the riders lined up for the first 21-lap Superbike race. Today’s race marked Haslam’s 300th start in the Superbike class; he is only the fifth rider in history to achieve this milestone. From sixth on the grid, the Brit held this position through the opening laps. Meanwhile, Bautista got away well, eleventh at the end of lap one. Lap eight saw him move into eighth place, right behind team-mate Haslam, who he was able to pass during the course of the next lap. The Team HRC duo moved into sixth and seventh place on lap sixteen, after which Haslam unfortunately lost a couple of positions in the final phase. Bautista scored a solid sixth-place finish, while Haslam ultimately crossed the line tenth.