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Haslam: "My season starts this weekend at Oulton Park"

Wednesday, April 27 2016

Leon Haslam is fired up for his racing return to Oulton Park this Bank Holiday weekend (April 30 - May 2) and the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider is determined to put the disappointment of Silverstone behind him in his quest to kick start his season in Cheshire.

Haslam had scored the first pole position of the season on his return from the world stage, but after a technical problem in the opening race, the 'Pocket Rocket' scored a single fifth place finish and he is determined to make amends in the two races on Bank Holiday Monday.

Haslam arrives at the second round feeling confident after topping the times at the official test last week and is relishing the challenge that the more traditional UK circuit brings.

Haslam said: "I felt really confident at Silverstone and I felt that the win was definitely on the cards; we had pole position, everything was going perfectly to plan and then we had a technical issue in race one and then problems in race two meant it was a no go. Yes we had a fifth place but it was not what I expected for myself for that weekend.

"We have erased that weekend now and I am treating Oulton Park as the first round for me. It will be a bit more demanding and challenging to get into this track compared to Silverstone, as it has been a few years since I raced here, but we need to get the bike working at these circuits so that was why the test last week was so useful for me.

"Coming to Oulton Park again it was surprising how different it felt with no electronics like TC and anti-wheelie compared to what we had when I raced in BSB before. When you come back to places like Oulton Park, even with all the aids it does take adapting yourself and set up, then you get ready to work out how to make those overtakes and that is the challenge I am looking forward to at the weekend.

"Until the official test last week we had only used the harder option tyre, so looking at these circuits that we have coming up next, everyone pretty much uses the softer version. It does create a lot more grip and a faster lap time, but it can drop off more towards the end of the race. At the test we started on the harder option and then quickly moved to the softer one and managed to get a better setting for the more grippy tyre which gave us a better lap time.

"Chassis wise we had been playing around really; the Showa suspension hasn't been in the championship for a long time and some of these tracks are very unique with their characteristics, so for me we had a really good day. It was a good sign and we didn't do our best time at the start, but seven or eight laps into a run which was also a positive especially with the traffic. I am looking forward to getting stuck in this weekend now."