Leon Haslam returned to action today just over a month after the crash that put pay to his 2017 British Superbike title chances.
The JG Speedfit Kawasaki star broke his ankle, wrist and dislocated his thumb when he jumped off his ZX-10RR in the final race of the 2017 British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch last month.
However, after five weeks’ recovery the tenacious Derbyshireman was back on his machine at Jerez as preparations for the 2018 season begin.
It wasn’t just a steady few laps for Haslam either, with the team having a number of new components to test ahead of finalising their package ahead of next year.
Clocking a laptime of 1’41.279, just 1.6 slower than three time world champion Jonathan Rea on a full-WSB spec machine, Haslam enjoyed a positive day and even managed two 15 lap runs in the afternoon despite struggling with both the thumb and ankle on gear changes.
“Two or three days ago I was still walking around with crutches and an air boot so honestly, it’s gone unbelievably well,” Haslam told MCN at the circuit. “We’ve tried a number of main components today and every one was a big improvement.
“I’m not feeling 100%, I sort of had to ride with my thumb on the handlebar to use the clutch and I was struggling with getting my ankle on and off the footpeg when shifting too, so I know there’s a lot more in me and we’re only a tenth off Eugene Laverty who sits third out of the World Superbike boys. For me it’s been more than positive, yeah I’m sore but it’s a lot better than I expected.
“One component we were trying needed distance so we did two 15 lap runs, back to back, so to be able to last that shows that I’m holding up OK!”
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