News 25 Mar 2010

WSBK: Haslam determined to extend series lead in Portugal

Haslam made a strong start to his career with Suzuki at Phillip Island.

Haslam made a strong start to his career with Suzuki at Phillip Island.

British star Leon Haslam is confident he can continue his form as the current leader of the 2010 Superbike World Championship, the Suzuki Alstare rider looking to extend his lead at this weekend’s second round of the series in Portugal.

Haslam and teammate Sylvain Guintoli enjoyed Suzuki’s most successful start to the season in years, the pair both finishing in the top five overall for the championship point standings.

“From the very first time I jumped onto the Suzuki I knew that the bike could be a contender and so far, I think we have proved that,” Haslam boasted this week.

“The whole team has given me tremendous support and we are all now looking forward to another good weekend in Portimao. I went well there in the pre-season tests and I will be chasing two more podiums for sure.

“Portimao is a fantastic circuit and probably the most demanding one on the calendar – I think all riders like it because it is such a challenge and when you do a good lap there, the feeling is fantastic”

Guintoli impressed at the Island in his WSBK debut after a season in British Superbike last year, the Frenchman set to improve further at Portimao.

“I am very pleased with my start to the season and I cannot tell you how happy and comfortable I am with my bike,” he explained. “Of course, every time I go out on it I learn a bit more, but already I am thinking of podiums and that is a good feeling to have.

“It has been a long break since the first race and I am itching to get back in the saddle and racing again. Portimao is a great track, but very, very challenging. I think it is one of the best race tracks in the series and I will be doing my very best to get on the podium there.”

Practice commences tomorrow, before Superpole takes place on Saturday and race day continues on Sunday.