Haslam Rides Hurt to Third in Imola Qualifying

Press Release | September 25, 2010

The following release is from the Team Suzuki Press office…Team Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam fought treacherous conditions at the Imola World Superbike round in Italy today to post third place in final Superpole.With Superpole 1 and 2 completely wet, everyone struggled on the slippery surface and there were many crashes, although fortunately there were no injuries. There was a bit of a dry line in Superpole 3, but that made life even more difficult for the final eight as the conditions did not suit their wet tyres.Final Superpole was dramatic and the lead changed hands several times before Briton Tom Sykes posted an unbeatable lap of 2:07.341.Haslam’s team mate Sylvain Guintoli did not have a good Superpole. He suffered from lack of grip and finished 16th fastest. The Frenchman once again faces a mountain to climb if he is to have any hope of a good result in tomorrow’s race, but if it rains again, who knows what might happen.Leon Haslam – 3rd – 2:08.273:”That was a tough Superpole, but then it’s been a pretty tough day. Conditions were very difficult and it would’ve been the easiest thing in the world to crash – and many did! This was my first proper time on this bike in the wet so I had a lot to learn pretty quickly. When the track was wet, it was mega slippery and it was hard just to keep upright. I was struggling with lack of grip on the entry to the corners, but I think all of us were. I really went for it in Superpole 3 and my quickest lap was definitely a bit on the hairy side. But, I got the front row place and that’s all that mattered.”I’m happy with the front row and now we’ll all have to wait and see what the weather will do tomorrow. For the sake of the championship, I suppose it probably would be better if it was wet tomorrow, but for the fans and good racing it’d be better to be dry. I think I’ve got a pretty good bike set-up, wet or dry, and will be giving it 110 per cent tomorrow, whatever the conditions.”Sylvain Guintoli – 16th, 2:11.706:”Today didn’t turn out how I wanted and most of that is because of the conditions this afternoon in Superpole. I finished eighth in Superpole 1, but struggled with grip problems, so we made some changes to the bike for Superpole 2, but I still had grip problems and just couldn’t push any harder. The track felt very, very slippery in the wet and I think it’s going to be a bit of a nightmare if it rains in the races tomorrow. If it does, there will be a lot of crashes for sure and that’s not really good for anybody.”I think my bike’s dry set-up is not so bad, but I’m not sure about the set-up if it is wet. We’ll look at all the data and then maybe try something in the warm-up tomorrow. I’m going to have to make two really good starts tomorrow if I am to have chance of a good result. Fortunately it’s a long drag down to the first turn, so I might be in with a chance.”

By Press Release