Leon Haslam a close fourth in Donington Superpole race; top 10 for both him and Bautista in Race 2
A very strong performance in today’s Tissot Superpole race at the British track of Donington Park saw Leon Haslam scoring Team HRC’s best result of the season so far, battling for the podium right from the start and just missing out on a top-three spot by half a second. Alvaro Bautista clinched a top ten finish in Race 2, just behind his teammate.
The morning’s 10-lap sprint race brought differing results for the Team HRC pair largely owing to their tyre selection. Haslam got away very well from seventh on the grid, having opted for intermediate tyres front and rear. Positioning fifth on lap one, the local rider moved into fourth on the very next lap. Maintaining a strong pace that saw him lapping just a couple of tenths from the podium sitters, Haslam was not quite able to take third, crossing the line a very close fourth. Bautista meanwhile had a tougher time keeping pace with his rivals, the decision to opt for rain tyres not paying off on a drying track. The Spaniard crossed the line fifteenth.
Thanks to his earlier Superpole race result, Haslam lined up in fourth position for the weekend’s final 23-lap Superbike race, which ran in dry albeit very cloudy conditions. Haslam again made a strong start, holding fourth in the early stages, but then lost several positions through subsequent laps. Eighth at the mid-race point, the Brit found it increasingly difficult to maintain a strong rhythm through the final phase of the race, crossing the line in eventual ninth position. Sixteenth on the grid, Bautista made up several positions through the first turns, eleventh by the end of lap one. Holding twelfth for the best part of the race, the Spaniard was able to up the pace slightly in the final stages, pushing to make up two positions and round out the top ten.
After this fourth round, Bautista places tenth in the championship standings with 57 points, Haslam thirteenth with 41 points. Team HRC will be back in action over the weekend of 23-25 July for round five at the Assen TT circuit in The Netherlands.