The American Superbike weekend finished with a spectacular duel between the Aprilia riders

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2015 Aprilia WorldSBK - Round 9 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

2015 Aprilia RAcing - logoSuperbike race number 200 for Leon Haslam, Race 2 at Laguna, will long be remembered for the spectacular and clean battle between the English rider and his team mate, Jordi Torres. It was the Spanish rookie who succeeded under the chequered flag at his début on the difficult California track, bringing home an encouraging fourth place finish.

In Race 1 Leon, who started from the second row, didn’t get off to the best start and was forced to fight to recover positions. Hindered by poor grip, the English rider took a slide which also damaged the gear shift lever on his RSV4. At that point Leon had to settle for a thirteenth place finish.

 

Leon Haslam took a spill in Race 1 and finishes right behind his team mate in Race 2

Leon Haslam took a spill in Race 1 and finishes right behind his team mate in Race 2

Leon Haslam: “Unfortunately in Race 1 we struggled. I had trouble maintaining the pace and after the crash the only thing on my mind was finishing the race, given the damage to my bike as well. We took a big step forward for Race 2. I rode much better, especially in the initial phases of the race. Then our pace dropped off a bit and I’m disappointed about that because I know that my bike had great potential. The biggest problem was consistency, in addition to a couple of turns where I was struggling. We’ll evaluate some further changes now that we can make for Malaysia, which is a track where we can definitely be very competitive.”

After his best qualifying phase of the season (third best time), Jordi Torres had his sights set on two good races. In the start of the first race he stuck close to Giugliano until a lack of feeling forced him to maintain his own pace without being able to make a play for fourth place. That was a position he achieved in Race 2, however, at the end of a battle with his team mate which kept fans and the Team Aprilia Racing – Red Devils garage on the edge of their seats. After swapping out positions several times, Jordi and Leon finished the race in fourth and fifth place respectively.

 

Fifth and fourth place for Jordi Torres

Fifth and fourth place for Jordi Torres

Jordi Torres: “Today we did a great job. We knew we would be able to do well after our third place time in qualifying. Our pace wasn’t the best, especially in Race 1 where I struggled with rear grip and wasn’t able to keep up with Giugliano. In Race 2 things went much better. In the first few laps I struggled in the braking sections because of the new pads, but once they worked themselves out I was able to set my pace to overtake Leon. The changes we made between the two races allowed me to do the times we had expected. I’m also pleased because we identified one of the areas where we’ll make some changes for the coming races which will make my RSV4 perform better in mid-turn.”

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