Haslam To The Top In Kyalami

Paul Carruthers | May 16, 2010

Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam stalked and prodded Jonathan Rea for 22 of 24 laps at the Kyalami circuit today before making a move that stuck on the 23 of 24 laps, the Brit taking his third win of the season in the second of two World Superbike races in South Africa.Rea, who started from 12th on the grid and somehow got to the front straight away, led every lap except for the first and the last two – at least at the stripe. Both Haslam and Aprilia’s Max Biaggi had led at certain points in the race, albeit briefly as Rea and the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda would find a way to retaliate almost immediately. Haslam pushed his Suzuki up the inside of Rea in the move that won him the race, the Honda man being forced wide and unable to fight back.”It was very, very difficiult to pass and I tried many times,” Haslam said immediately after the win. “It made good racing and I’m so happy for the team.”Rea held off Biaggi at the flag for second, the two Brits at the front separated by just .522 of a second with Biaggi just .601 of a second behind Haslam in third. Then came Sterligarda Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, just .991 of a second off the win and just a few ticks ahead of Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa as the top five circulated together for most of the race.With Rea holding Biaggi behind him, Haslam was able to gain more ground in the championship and the Suzuki rider now leads the Aprilia man by 15 points, 222-201.”Fifteen points is nothing – it might as well be one,” Haslam said. “It’s a long, long season, but I’m happy.”Some 13 seconds off the pace but in sixth place was Sterligarda Yamaha’s James Toseland, the Brit barely beating BMW’s Troy Corser with race-one winner Michel Fabrizio also in that battle for sixth. The Italian would end up eighth, just hours after dominating race one.Jakub Smrz and Ducati Xerox’s Noriyuki Haga rounded out the top 10.American Roger Lee Hayden ended up 19th on the Pedercini Ducati. Only two riders failed to finish with Aprilia’s Leon Camier pitting with a mechanical issue and Shane Morais crashing out of the race.The top five in the race featured five different manufacturers – Suzuki, Honda, Aprilia, Yamaha and Ducati.

Race 2

1.                  Leon Haslam (Suzuki)

2.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

3.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

4.                  Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)

5.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

6.                  James Toseland (Yamaha)

7.                  Troy Corser (BMW)

8.                  Michel Fabrizio (Ducati)

9.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

10.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducati)19. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.