BSB: Snapped handlebar cause of Haslam qualifying disaster

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Disaster struck for Leon Haslam as qualifying got underway for the final round of the MCE British Superbike Championship decider at Brands Hatch after dramatically crashing out of the second session.

The right-hand handlebar on Haslam’s ZX-10R snapped clean off in his hand as he headed into Stirling’s corner, leaving him unable to brake for the turn ahead. Forced to jump from his machine, Haslam managed to get himself out of immediate danger but his bike continued at high speed in to the tyre wall ahead. 

Speaking after the incident, he said: “The handlebar just snapped off in my right hand so I couldn’t brake and had no choice but to jump off! It’s certainly not what we needed as the bike now needs to be completely rebuilt ahead of this afternoon’s first race.” 


With team’s only allowed one machine, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki crew are now frantically trying to rebuild Haslam’s bike ahead of this afternoon’s first race, which gets underway at 15:45.

“It’s a complete write off,” said team boss Mark Smith-Halvorsen. “We will have to rebuild the whole bike but fortunately we are quite good at that!”

Crashing before he could set a competitive time in the Q2 session, Haslam is left to start the first race from the sixth row of the grid in 17th – which could have massive implications on his title fight.  

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing